Animation and Anime

AICN Anime - Looking at Talking Bacteria, Lizard Headed Fugitives & Other Wildness via Biomega, Moyasimon and Dorohedoro

Published at: Sept. 7, 2010, 8:06 a.m. CST by scottgreen

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green

Manga Spotlight: Biomega Volume 2 by Tsutomu Nihei Released by VIZ Media

Volume 2 of Biomega doesn't quite have the horror heft of its predecessor. In volume one, Tsutomu Nihei pulled of an impressive trick, constructing a sort of biomechanical haunted city, establishing a Lovecraft/Giger/Keiichiro Toyama infected landscape that managed to simultaneously be both imposingly imminence and claustrophobic. In volume two, isolation is replaced with violent interaction. Mystery is replaced with new familiarity with stakes and opposition. That moves the genre a needle a bit, but it doesn't change the essential appeal of Biomega. Its hero, Zouichi Kanoe, should be petrified of the danger he's facing. Every towering wall surrounding him looks liable to be honeycombed with zombies ready to rend him. He's an ant with an elephant's foot hovering above him. Yet, he's completely undeterrable. In Terminator fashion, he can only move towards his objective. Tsutomu Nihei works off his own particular style, tuned from series to series. As such, it's unlikely that he's deconstructed influences and pieced them together in his own manga. But, especially in the case of Biomega, the work could read as a Nihei dyed patchwork. Biomega was once featured on the cover of home anthology Ultra Jump (an older audience Jump sibling, which also serializes Bastard!!, Dogs, Tenjou Tenge, and, until recently, Battle Angel Alita: Last Order). Zouichi Kanoe is mounted on his black motorcycle, in his black armor, head masked by a black helmet. The only feature on the man and his bike are the cracks, pock marks and the bits of duct tape holding together the face of the bike and a sleeve. Reinforced by his female, holographic companion, the hero functions like duct tape punk Master Chief. Biomega is set in a broken, corrupted world. Everything is in disrepair, smattered with rust or blood. The notion that the hero is vulnerable to the same forces is sold by his appearance. He's not a Fist of the North Star style muscular beast. Sans helmet, he looks slight and pale. It's a face that would be at home in a more sensitive, introspective manga. Thing is, despite the suggestion of fragility, he's a juggernaut. Evidently, nothing short of dismemberment would slow Zouichi Kanoe. It's all business. There's no posturing, chest thumping, or alpha dogging, so, "macho" isn't the right word, but this is a guy who doesn't flinch with a Resident Evil boss standing at point blank range, looking to decorate the room with his insides. With the same sort of straight face exhibited by its protagonist, BioMega approaches its ridiculousness in full deadpan. Volume two opens with an episode stamped from a familiar action story template. Black hats capture a business. They threaten the proprietor’s daughter to extract information. To rescue them, the hero must dash through the siege of enemies to confront their boss. Here, a mutated monster wearing a business suit and butcher's apron, head enclosed in mask-like bone is using a drill finger to execute men in laboratory clean-suits. His heavily armed shock troops bring in the daughter of the installation's chief scientist, and Skeletor threatens to expose her to the n5s virus - a deadly pathogen that made its way back from a disastrous attempt to colonize Mars. To make it onto this scene, our man in black has to ride through a full military deployment. He contends with fighter jets... dodging missiles and counter attacking with pistol and axe. He hijacks a ride back to their aircraft carrier. Past the bay, he screeches into the tunnels of a military industry complex citadel. A motorcycle and a quicker trigger finger gets him through the occupying arm and puts Zouichi Kanoe face to face with the drill fingered unfriendly. Tsutomu Nihei is not a particularly good panel to panel fight illustrator. If you block out one of the melees and tried to mimic Zouichi Kanoe's lefts and rights, you'd wind up feeling pretty silly. And, if BioMega's action was depending on coherent choreography, this wilting under inspection would be a problem. However, it's not dependant and it isn't a problem. There's no pronounced deficit when fights are imagined and rendered like Nihei's. In a fight that struck me as especially logically disastrous when followed blow by blow, the knuckle dusting is a stage of a sequence initiated by Zoichi being pierced through the chest by projectiles from a woman comprised of coils; he's sent through a wall; rushed by a gang of white masked Compulsory Execution Unit troops who attempt to remove his limbs with a set of jaws-of-life; Zoichi recovers, turns the table, takes a few heads and launches those severed crania at other adversaries; engages in the above mention kick/punch bits; and finally, dodges a missile on his way out of the scene. I can point to manga artists who take space and human mechanics into account when illustrating fights scenes, but I can also point to artists who'd just put in an "and then, the magic happened" place holder, leaving the action to the reader's imagination. Biomega situates itself in the middle and sells that with attitude and atmosphere. That's how it coheres. It doesn't invite the reader to think too hard about anything else, and if it did, there would be a ton of suspension of disbelief to wrestle with. Instead, the approach to creating gloom then burning through it races around that concern. Among manga critics, BioMega is often spoken of as the manga with the sniper-bear... there's a man in a bear's body who uses a sniper rifle, and by volume two, has a hook hand. Though memorable and significant (he is on the cover), from the action fan point of view, the bear might be oversold a bit. He's a nice to have and not a key marker of Biomega's awesomeness. Chewbacca's presence adds to Star Wars, but the inclusion of an angry sasquatch among the heroes isn't the best persuasive leverage there. The second way manga critics frame BioMegia is to discuss it as the prime manga for people who like video games of the sci-fi foot soldier variety. That sort of game is unpopular/niche in Japan, so I suspect the Halo/Resistance/Gears of War continuum didn't enter too far into Nihei thinking, but it isn't an invalid value proposition for BioMega either. "Like a popular video game genre" is a dangerous proposition for anything not a video game. It's liable to place the media in competition with video games, with the immediate rejoinder being, why spend the time/money on it instead of the games? Why read about Biomega's hero's shoot outs, when one can play them out. As the spectacle and writing offered by games has improved, the position of anime and manga in genres like sci-fi and fantasy has eroded. I'd argue that different media can be in competition for the time and funds of their audience. While I personally prefer manga to video games, I also recognize that manga often loses this competition. At about $13 a volume, Biomega is only slightly cheaper than a downloadable video game, Nut I'm not sure how often manga and games get stacked head to head any more. Instead, it seems like manga has been pushed out of the consideration of the audience who might be interested in both. Biomega does hold up well in that comparison, but not necessarily by playing to manga's strengths versus games'. While a game can develop plot and character sophistication, manga has a deeper foundation of delivering those narrative elements. Characters and plot are functional in Biomega. Neither deserve much credit for making it an involving manga. Nihei's success in Biomega is in how he manages the manga's directed experience. He's able to leverage manga's lack of limitations to go big, while ensuring that it doesn't matter that fights aren't perfectly coherent, the characters are thin \and the story is routine. Tightly focused on developing the impression of its cyclist hero plying his lethal business against titanic opposition, BioMega slams the impact of spectacle manga. Maybe it's punching outside its weight class to go against video games, but it proves ferocious enough to compete.

Manga Spotlight: Moyasimon Tales of Agriculture Volume 2 by Ishikawa Masayuki Released by Del Rey
From what I see of manga blogger talk, I'm not the only one wishing success upon Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture. Clever, smart, informative and hard working, few manga are so endearing. Being so worthy, it's the kind of manga that gets recommended for non-manga readers. I've certainly done that. I put volume one on my gift selection list during last year's holidays. Yet, I've developed some doubts as to whether Moyasimon would be a universal pleaser. Tadayasu Sawaki leaves his family's rural home to attend agricultural college. This education takes a unique bend, because he's gifted with the ability to see microbes with his naked eye and even hear them. Germs appear to him as thumbnail size mascot like forms chirping to "eating" or "brewing." He hooks up with Professor Keizo Itsuki, disconcerting by virtue of the fact that despite not looking ancient, he's reputed to have been a veteran researcher during World War II and disconcerting due to his zealousness for his area of research. He promotes the belief that an understanding of microbes can change worlds (terraforming for example) and his deadpan enthusiasm finds him taking actions like following an Inuit recipe for fermenting seagulls in the body of a rotting seal... consumed by sucking up the stuff from the dead bird's anus. With Itsuki in a Merlin role, the person actually shoving Tadayasu along is Haruka Hasegawa, a grad student marked by a decidedly serious no-nonsense and by her wardrobe of tight, leather outfits. On the other side, Tadayasu is also dragged into trouble by the ignorance and poor judgment fueled misadventures of elder students Kaoru Misato and Takuma Kawahama. Volume two extends the cast with the introduction of Aoi Muto, a beauty who left campus for a while to do often dirty, often smelly field work. There's isn't that much plot there. There is not an over abundance of characters. But, there is a lot going on. For starters, Moyasimon is decidedly didactic manga. With Itsuki, Hasegawa or other topic experts lecturing Tadayasu or pushing him towards discovery, Moyasimon is constructed from blocks of factual discussion. The whole group, along with colonies of microbes, crowd into cellars of a sake vendor where they'll talk through sake's brewing process, economics, marketing, distrobution and so on. While the manga will spin narratives out of the discourse, it's also inclined to dive right in. Moyasimon does not rely on its readers desire to learn. It's supportedon the leg of its likable, well handled cast. With plenty of levity, there is never a sense that Moyasimon takes its cast too seriously. This runs in seinen anthology Evening, and as such does not have the shounen propensity to get too over excited. No one is screaming about their intensions to be the best. At the same time, it does take its collection of eccentrics seriously enough to provide solid foundations for their behavior. The characters might dress, act or smell oddly, but by the time Moyasimon has gotten through its second volume, it's established reason to have faith that this is not without reason. Even if exploring how humans interact with microbes is Moyasimon's raison d'être, there is an interesting shadow focus, beneath the didactic element and humor, exploring the very seinen subject of the mechanisms and behaviors people establish to get through their lives. If Moyasimon is supported to some extend by its cast, it puts even more weight on being visually interesting. The character of the manga itself is established by its look. It scores with the bacteria. Basically faces on shapes, the simple recognizability makes for perfect mascots. They're adorably readymade for merchandise. Between them, and references to subjects like Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa, there's an almost constant background jokiness going on in Moyasimon. This tone complements character design that are stylized in such a way as to be broad and cute, but not over idealized. The results are the opposite of Jessica Rabbit's classic, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." There are a lot of difficult types here. Between the likes of the sad sack upper classmen and the pushy grad student, many of these aren't entirely pleasant personalities. Most of these are people you'd only want to spend as much time with as needed. Yet, there's connection established by the glint in the eyes and tightness in lines that makes them appealing. Even when what's being depicted is a bit gross, there isn't a page or a panel that doesn't pleasantly greet the eyes. As winning as Moyasimon is, I can see manga/comic readers having to work to read it. And, while it's the kind of series that would be recommended to casual/non readers, that audience is liable to struggle with it. The density of the art and the writing is praise worthy. As packed as the information rich dialog is, the art keeps pace. As the cast discuss matters of sake, the wine shop is given with dark, woody specificity. Characters appear in thought out backgrounds with plenty of line work, an abundance of zip tones, margin illustrations and notes... compounding all there is to digest in what's being read, there's even more to digest in which being seen. Ishikawa's command of how to connect with readers via design is as strong as any manga author's. Some authors can anticipate and work with how their manga is read, maximizing the effect of the transition between panels and pages. This isn't the case with Ishikawa, and the consequence is a viscous manga that moves slowly. Even if there aren't dead stops, it doesn't flow easily. Manga has a strong tradition of persuading its audience to be interested in just about any subject from curling to train station box lunch tasting, but Moyasimon is far more fun than might be expected from a manga dedicated to discussing bacteria and its agricultural usage. Then again, it is set in college and much of it is driven by alcohol. And beyond that, between the stylization of the humans and the mascot-like bacteria, Moyasimon is inviting manga to look at. You can turn to any page of the manga, probably find something informative and definitely find something amusing to look at. Unfortunately, there's too much of a good thing. Even as an avid manga/comic reader, I found myself choked by the density of Moyasimon; reading it more slowly than I wanted to and more slowly than the speed that the story lent itself to. I'm critical of this because its a liability for a manga that could/should cross over into the attention of non-dedicated manga readers. And, I'm critical of it because Moyasimon could have accomplished as much with a bit of slack and space in which it could move more easily. Looking at later volumes, especially ones using the same locations, they do seem to showcase a lighter visual footprint, suggesting Ishikawa recognizes the problem too.

Manga Spotlight: Deadman Wonderland Volume 2 by by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou Released by TOKYOPOP

This case is the opposite of Moyashimon. I can recommend it more confidently than I like it. Deadman Wonderland throws plenty into the blender, but the dominant flavor that comes through is action manga meets super heroes. A sort of silver age X-Men confrontation with the extravagant funhouse deathtrap building villain Arcade meets Battle Royale. Heading in that direction with gleeful abandon, Deadman Wonderland achieves everything that manga for teenage guys should. It's sexualized... there's a girl perpetually wearing a flesh colored leotard, often with a straight jacket over it. It's gruesome, up to an including organ harvesting. It's rebellious and trangressive. Deadman Wonderland is comparable to Biomega, but its lack of restraint and enclosing danger zone is Wonka to the other series' Lovecraft. Hero Ganta is the lone survivor of a being known as the Red Man's attack on his class. He's framed for the schoolroom massacre and sentenced to the death's head emblazoned Magic Kingdom known as Deadman Wonderland. Trapped in that mad/fun house, as a plaything for the powers that be, Ganta is forced to run obstacle courses against other inmates to win "candy" that retards a regularly administered poison, and, he must fight one-on-one in Carnivals of Corpses, the losers of which have body parts surgically removed. To his surprise, Ganta finds himself not entirely out of his depth. Faced with a desperate situation, he manifests the Branch of Sin, the ability to control his own blood, generally used for shot gun blasts. Blood manipulation is an odd power, made odder by being THE super-power in Deadman Wonderland. As someone older than Deadman Wonderland's target audience, I prefer Biomega's cold, to business manner to this adolescent hero constantly being excised by sadistic adults and dangerous peers. I can see Deadman Wonderland connecting to a teen audience. The sleepy eyes of that mentally impaired girl in the skin tight leotard and restraints on the cover of volume 2 might serve as a bit of misdirection here. Deadman Wonderland accentuates teen worry. If he had any time to think, Ganta might develop a case of paranoia from all the people looking to use or abuse him. The world-against-me is spun into frantic manga with silver age super hero business to contend with. And, it all get thrown at Ganta... from busty, sword wielding wardens to probing mad scientists to giant attack robots. The fuel on this fire is Kazuma Kondou's ability to pack plenty of narrative into the panels. Ganta grabs a pipe and runs at a foe, and the expression of dismay on his face as the foe dices the pipe heats the manga to the proper boil. Personally, I'm disinclined to be interested in its set of characters, and so far, rather than managed to overcome that resistance, Deadman Wonderland made me aware of it. Yet, as the manga progressed, I increasingly appreciated the execution and got a charge out of action with bits of rage and naughtiness. As a sucker for action manga, the slashing, eye extraction and rib cracking won me over.

Manga Spotlight: Dorohedoro Volume 2 by Q. Hayashida Released by VIZ Media

Honestly, I haven't been factious when referring to Dorohedoro as my favorite splatter-action moe ("moe" is a tough term to nail down, but for a guiding principle, think getting fired up for cute girls, generally framed in a sort of protective, elder brother sense). It's an arena with some competition, but not an overabundance. One of the contenders is Elfen Lied, an anime that hit the US in 2005 that took the standards of the magic girlfriend series (Oh! My Goddess or the like) someplace very dark. Five years is an epoch or two in anime tine, so permit a bit of recap. A young woman, naked except for the metal mask locked around her head, escapes her bonds and begins making her way out of the installation housing her. Set to a solemn chant for soundtrack, armed security personal attempted to halt her advance and, in turn, are mutilated. Heads are snapped off, limbs wrenched off, pens fly through the air as lethal projectiles. The narrative cuts to a goofy young woman, maybe a secretary. A bit of her life is shown. She does an "I'll get it right" speech. She attempts to walk down the hall carrying a coffee mug on a tray. She stumbles into the battle field. A bloody hand print falls on her shoulder. Her head is pulled up and off. The cranium hovers and bleeds, turns, and falls to the ground as her body is yanked up to be used to absorb gun fire. Perhaps because she takes an anti-tank shell to the head during her escape, the woman, a subspecies known as a diclonus with magenta hair and small horn like cranial protrusions, develops two personalities. Lucy is the cold, almost gleeful killer who left a trail of limbs, heads and torsos. Nyuu can't function on her own. Unable to talk, dress, or find a bathroom, she is found by a young man named Kohta. Well, Dorohedoro pulls the spine out of Elfen Lied in grisly arena. If you've seen Dorohedoro (there is some online on Sigiki) you might not immediately buy that it is action moe comporable to Elfen Lied. While Elfen Lied aims to be attractive in a conventional, pink haired girl anime way, Dorohedoro author Q. Hayashida's website greets its visitors with a a cockroach man blocking a sewer path, waving its appendages. So, "splatter-action moe"... The "splatter action" part is easily evident. The Dorohedoro is punctuated by oddities beating the ever living out of each other. Dorohedoro is set in "the Hole," a slum hunting/dumping ground for the human subjects of Sorcerers' experimentation. One of these guinea pigs blows back a response with equally cruel disregard. Caiman turned up in the Hole with a reptilian face, a case of amnesia and a raging lust for vengeance. He also proves to be immune to the Sorcerers' magic. Allied with a young woman named Nikaido, the proprietor of a dive eatery known as the Hungry Bug, Caiman applies a ferocity that might make Jack Bauer blanche to hunting down the identity of the person who cursed him with lizard features. Volume two opens with "the Hole's" answer to Halloween. The dead rise from their graves, and the inhabitants respond to the Night of the Living Dead , cause by remnants of sorcerer magic, by taking to the streets with axes and explosives. "Kill! Zombie" t-shirts are sold by vendors. Priest trade their sandals for athletic sneakers and grab flame throwers. Prizes are rewarded for most the kills. Dorohedoro makes statements by way of Nikaido in boxing trunks and athletic bra doing a flip, disarming a gun man by knife hand chopping the guy's hand off above the wrist, then spinning to take off the guy's head with her other hand. It's Caiman with his blades going against a sorcerer in nice suit and anatomic heart mask Oldboy-ing with a hammer. With graphic decapitations (multiple), skinning, and fingers being bit off, the "splatter" prefix of that "splatter-action" label is also well earned. It's the "moe" assertion that might be a bit bewildering. Moe is pastel. Dorohedoro is metal. Young woman sorcerer Ebisu is exhibit A in the "Dorohedoro is moe" argument. Even if she's taking to the field with death's head mask and scythes, she is SO darling and SO vulnerable, you have to call her moe. Before the zombie night festivities, volume 2 has her strapped down to a chair, her face having been chewed off in the prior collections. She gets a new one magically breathed back on. Though her brains are still scrambled, she's allowed back into combat with her big-bro wizard senior kindof minding her. She's bitten by a zombie, and infected, lead back home on a leash, drooling, snapping and grunting "mmmmmeat! mmmmeat!" Wicked cute. Sortof cured, she's allowed to pick new clothes, and for the second time in two volumes, the girl shows up to dinner near naked, this time, garter belt and stockings, oversized bra, scarf and mittens. Going back to Biomega, even with the continually floundering economy, there is still a glut of media options. "Ok" isn't "ok" when there is so much competition for attention. In that jostle, novelty and artistry count for a lot. And, those are qualities that Q. Hayashida's approach to splatter-action moe has in spades. Q. Hayashida takes her education from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and experience as an assistant to Tsutomu Nihei to create her own time and space. And, she's not just performing free association or just seeing what sticks. Like Lewis Carrol's, there's a warped logic to her wonderland. Notorious seinen manga Gantz opens its chapters with pin-up style shots of its female cast, semi-undressed and fondling its sci-fi weaponry. Consider the manga's intent declared. It isn't constant, but Dorohedoro often kicks things off by showing step by step progressions. In 30 regular blocks, the process by which magic reconstructs a human body is laid out. The title card for chapter 9, "Dances With Lizard" shows 24 numbered figures for a rather silly looking dance. In odd works, the bloody mess of Dorohedoro starts with order. If you walked up to a rickety looking shack and kicked down its door, the act wouldn't be too impressive. If you walked up to a concrete building and kicked down its metal door, jaws would drop. Q. Hayashida isn't just scrawling or riffing here. She's kicking down metal doors. I'm not about to proscribe any great subversive intensions here. None have convincingly revealed themselves over the course of the first two volumes. That said, there's evidently an appetite for stories in which awful violence surrounds darling lasses, and Q. Hayashida throws kerosene on that cake via her own horrific brand of adorable. She also understands design, and she demonstrates that when you understand how clothes, buildings and anatomy are supposed to work, you can break it all in such a way as to create a truely fantastic mad world. Dorohedoro is a brutal, kick-ass manga. Anything in which someone absords a headbutt, and responds by shouting "fuck you! enough dicking around" as he puts his fist through the abdomen of the attacker has probably won my heart. But, it's the warp-everything sensibility of Dorohedoro that pushes it over the top, to make the manga a favorite.

Event News

LA's Anime Jungle will host animator Sadao Miyamoto (Astro Boy, Gatchamanm Tom and Jerry) on September 17th.
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Artist/designer Junko Mizuni will have a signing at the Giant Robot San Francisco on September 18th
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East Brunswick, New Jersey's MangaNEXT announced guests Akino Kondoh (Ax), M. Alice LeGrow (Bizenghast), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), and Lea Hernandez (Texas Steampunk, Marvel Mangaverse) Halloween weekend
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San Francisco's Yaoi-Con will host voice actors Ryotaro Okiayu and Hidenobu Kiuchi and manga authors Hinako Takanaga and Kano Miyamoto, also on Halloween weekend
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Giant Robot New York will be closing on September 23rd Giant Robot regretfully announces that after six memorable years in the East Village, GRNY will be shutting its doors for good. We would like to thank the staff, artists, customers, and friends who helped make our stint memorable. Over the next few weeks, all supporters are invited to view the gallery's final art show, get some good deals, and say their goodbyes. * Out and About, featuring new art by Susie Ghahremani and Kelly Tunstall, will be the GRNY gallery's final show. The opening reception takes place on Saturday, September 4, and we are proud to showcase the San Diego and San Francisco painters' breathtaking work through the store's closure. * From September 8-23, inventory will be marked down by 30 percent. Exceptions include artwork (such as Susie and Kelly's) and merchandise related to special events (such as book signings or in-store performances). * In an effort to make the shop's final days lively ones, other events are in the works. Announcements will be made via Giant Robot's websites, Facebook accounts, and the usual outlets. Giant Robot was born as a Los Angeles-based magazine about Asian, Asian-American, and new hybrid culture in 1994, but has evolved into a full-service pop culture provider with shops and galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, as well as an online equivalent. Publisher and co-editor Eric Nakamura comments here
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Korean movie nights are being presented at New York's Tribeca Cinemas, September 14, 2010 October 31, 2010, courtesy of the Korean Cultural Service Every other Tuesday @ 7pm Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street, on the corner of Canal Street, one block from the A, C, E and 1 train Canal Street stops) Price? Free. All seating is first-come, first served. Doors open at 6:30pm. UPCOMING MOVIES Series Three: Documentaries TUESDAY, September 14 @ 7pm TURN IT UP TO 11 (2009, 93 minutes, New York Premiere) Winner of four major film awards, and the documentary that spawned the Korean catch phrase, "I don't think we're gonna make it," TURN IT UP TO 11 is a rambunctious rock n'roll odyssey about Incheon's unlikeliest talent incubator: Ruby Salon. A tiny, hole-in-the-wall club founded by aging punk Lee Kyou-Young, who moved back home to Incheon after accidentally getting his girlfriend pregnant, Ruby Salon is the seed that sprouts two bands: Galaxy Express, a tight, ambitious outfit that dreams of stardom; and Tobacco Juice, a band whose members are so lazy they can't even be bothered to show up for gigs. As one band goes up, and the other goes down, this slacker doc follows them to shows, bars, massive concerts, antagonistic rehearsals and empty clubs in the best movie ever made about the Korean music scene. TUESDAY, September 28 @ 7pm DANCE OF TIME (2009, 92 minutes, New York Premiere) Song Il-Gon is the director of such classic Korean arthouse films as FEATHER IN THE WIND and the one-take-wonder, THE MAGICIANS, and here he turns his attention to the documentary, directing a relaxed, sun-soaked, lighthearted ode to love, dance, music, Santeria and Cuba. Starting at the turn of the century, DANCE OF TIME follows Cuba's tiny community of Koreans from their accidental immigration to the present, along the way surviving wars, revolutions, and tumultuous romances. A little-known part of Cuba, these Koreans have flowered into a vital part of the island's culture that almost no one has heard of. This slick, technically accomplished documentary, throbbing with music, takes care of that problem. TUESDAY, October 12 @ 7pm GRANDMOTHER'S FLOWER (2008, 89 minutes) It's one of the most astonishing documentaries about modern day Korea ever made, but when it begins this documentary sounds terrible. Director Mun Jeong-Hyun is pressured into making a doc about his grandmother, and he's convinced there's no story there, but when he discovers a secret cache of his greatuncle's incomprehensible journals he begins to pull on the threads of his family history, and everything unravels. Ultimately lifting the lid off his peaceful hometown of Naju, he reveals a hair raising history of conflict between intellectual left wingers and working class right wingers who have been at each other's throats since the Japanese occupation. A harrowing family saga, it begins with torture, persecution and secret executions and it ends with self-mutilation, decades of discrimination, threats against the filmmaker, and a family exiled over three countries. A searing look at what history has done to the Korean people, this is the kind of documentary that keeps upping the ante, finding new realms of pain and suffering to inflict as history has its way with its victims. SPECIAL HALLOWEEN SCREENING TUESDAY, October 31 @ 4pm GHOST aka BE WITH ME (2010, 100 minutes, US Premiere) Every summer it's horror movie time in Korea, but this year, BE WITH ME captured attention not by scaring the pants off its audience, but by offering a fresh take on the omnibus ghost film by some of Korea's hottest young directors who take the traditional horror movie in a funnier, more experimental and more moving direction. These three stories about ghosts star a cast of some of the best young actors in Korea including Kim Kkot-Bi (BREATHLESS) and Kim Ye-Ri (PAJU) and they center around the loneliness of the ghost. From the tale of two best friends (and the boy who got one of them pregnant) competing for a single slot at a top college, to the story of a boy branded as a loser because he sees dead people, this is one of the freshest takes on the genre to come along in years.
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Sunrise announced today that the North America premiere of the movie, Mobile Suit Gundam 00: A wakening of the Trailblazer will take Trailblazer, place at New York Anime Festival Festival/New York Comic Con on Sunday, October 10, 2:00-4:00pm. The movie will be subtitled in English with Japanese audio. This movie is a two hour all original sequel to the television series Mobile Suit Gundam 00, which had two seasons and ran for 50 episodes. The movie will premiere in Japan on September 18th and will be released in some other Asian Countries this fall. The series story was set at the dawn of the 24th century and the world was still torn by conflict, driven by the rivalry between three great superpower blocs. Then the private armed organization called Celestial Being appeared, announcing its intention to rid the world of war and conflict. In the movie, the year is 2314 AD, two years after Celestial Being's last great battle, and the world faces a new crisis. A derelict Jupiter exploration ship, abandoned 130 years ago, has left its orbit and is approaching Earth. As Celestial Being and its Gundam Meisters begin their final mission to save humanity from an unimaginable threat, Gundam Meister Setsuna F. Seiei is about to discover the true purpose of his evolution as an Innovator, and the nature of the "dialogues" for which legendary scientist Aeolia Schenberg's plan has been preparing the human race.
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VIZ Cinema at New People in San Francisco announced its September schedule The People I’ve Slept With, September 3rd – September 9th (Directed by Quentin Lee, 2009, 89 min, Digital, English Language) The People I’ve Slept With is a sexy comedy about a promiscuous woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy and needs to figure out who the baby daddy is…NOW. Film stars Karin Anna Cheung (Better Luck Tomorrow), Wilson Cruz (My So Called Life) and Archie Kao (CSI). Co-sponsored by Frameline. A special Opening Night Event is scheduled for Friday, September 3rd at 7:00pm and will include a reception and Q&A with Director Quentin Lee. Tickets are now available for $15.00. No discounts apply. Death Note Day: Death Note Collection Blu-ray Release Special Event, September 4th (Directed by Shusuke Kaneko, 2006, 120min (Death Note), 140 min (Death Note II), Digital, Japanese with English subtitles) VIZ Pictures celebrates its first Blu-ray release Death Note Collection with Death Note Day showing both Death Note & Death Note II on the brand new Blu-ray version with the vivid high-def visuals and THX sound at VIZ Cinema. Death Note is a psycho thriller film based on the bestselling manga and anime series. Tickets are $10.00 for each film or $15.00 for both screenings. $35.00 Special Blu-ray Package includes tickets to both screenings, the new Blu-ray and poster! Paprika, September 11th (Directed by Satoshi Kon, 2006,Digital, Japanese with English subtitles) In memory of one of the greatest anime directors Satoshi Kon, who passed away at the age of 49 on August 24th, VIZ Cinema celebrates his work with a screening his masterpiece Paprika. This sci-fi epic centers on a new invention called the DC-Mini. With this revolutionary device, psychiatrists are now able to enter a patient's dreams in a therapeutic setting. But when an unknown assailant steals the devices, using them to manipulate people’s minds and the thin line between the conscious and the unconscious begins to blur. Yes Paprika challenges the same theme as Inception over 4 years ahead, but in incredible and breathtaking world of anime. Tickets are $10.00. 9/11 Truth Film Festival Friday, 9/10 – Sunday 9/12 Join VIZ Cinema for the 9/11 Truth Film Festival and delve into the investigations and efforts to uncover what really happened on September 11, 2001. Tickets are $10.00 for each film. Opening Night: Double Feature with Q&A, Friday, September 10th 9/11: Press For Truth (Q&A with filmmakers to follow) (Directed by Ray Nowosielski, 2006, 75min, Digital, English Language) The political becomes personal in 9/11: Press for Truth, which examines the World Trade Center attacks from the perspective of the families that lost loved ones. Hypothesis (Directed by Brett Smith, 2010, 48 min, Digital, English Language) Hypothesis is a short documentary on Dr. Steven Jones and his 9/11 research on the destruction of the Twin Towers and WTC 7. The film tells Dr. Jones’ story in his own words and reflects the explosive controversy that ensued which resulted in everything from threats and bribes to academic suspension. Double Feature of 9/11: Press For Truth and Hypothesis will also be screened on Sunday, September 12th. Zero: An investigation to 9/11, Saturday, September 11th (Directed by Francesco Tre, Franco Fracassi, 2007, 104min, Digital, Italian w/ English subtitles) This feature documentary from Italian production company Telemaco explores the new scientific evidence and reveals dramatic new eyewitness testimony which directly conflicts with the U.S. Government’s account. Featuring presentations from intellectual heavy weights, Gore Vidal, and Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, the film challenges many assumptions surrounding the attacks. Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup, Saturday, September 11th (Directed by Dylan Avery, 2009, 99min, Digital, English Language) With the departure of the Bush Administration and the arrival of an era of transparency, new information has been disclosed that sheds more light on the events that took place before and after 9/11. Dramatically narrated by Daniel Sunjata of FX’s Rescue Me, and an outspoken advocate for the First Responders, Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup presents a wide array of evidence both known and unknown…until now. War Promises, Saturday, September 11th and Sunday, September 12th (Edited by Frank Hofer, 2009, 75min, Digital, German with English Subtitles) In German documentary War Promises, insiders and whistleblowers try to bring what they know about to the public, including Annie Machon, who was a spy with the British MI5, and Andreas von Bülow and Jürgen Elsässer, who possess enormous insider knowledge from their membership in the parliamentary committee supervising the secret services. False Flag, Saturday, September 11th and Sunday, September 12th (Edited by Frank Hofer, 2007, 75min, Digital, German w/ English subtitles) False Flag focuses on the inconsistencies in the official version of the events and the evidence that has been suppressed regarding 9/11. It also seeks to answer why we still know nothing about it and why we are being deceived – as well as in Europe. J-POP SUMMIT WEEK: Pre-Festival Events + Festival Day Monday, September 13th – Saturday, September 18th From September 13th to 17th (Mon-Fri), NEW PEOPLE and VIZ Cinema will host films, anime, fashion, music and other forms of J-pop culture in a series of nightly events! Special gift bags will be given to all ticket holders each night. TOKYOSCOPE TALK, Vol. 6: Bad Girls & Wild Women featuring Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion Monday, September 13th at 7:00pm (Happy Hour starts at 6:00pm) ? followed by screening of Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Directed by Shunya Ito, 1973, 87min. Japanese with English subtitles) Join host Patrick Macias (Editor, Otaku USA) for a unique look at sexy Stray Cats, Female Prisoners, Delinquent Bosses and other captivating and sexy bad girl roles from Japanese cinema. The evening will be complemented by a theatrical screening of the lurid prison film Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion. Adults only due to mature subject matter; 18+ General admission tickets for the discussion and film screening are $20.00. ANIME NIGHT with Anime On Display & Crunchyroll Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00pm and 8:45pm (Happy Hour and VIP Party starts at 7:30pm) ? 2 Screenings of 5 Centimeters Per Second at 7pm & 8:45pm Animation On Display, S.F.’s very own anime convention, joins forces with online content provider Crunchyroll for a theatrical presentation of Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second. Come meet other anime fans and join the fun with a special evening celebrating anime! General admission tickets are $10.00. NOISE POP MEETS J-POP: Film Screening of 77 Boadrum Preceded by Cornelius’ Music Video – Synchronized & Sensurround Thursday, September 16th at 7:30pm (Happy Hour starts at 6:00pm) Join Noise Pop, organizers of the leading independent music festival in the Bay Area, for a special theatrical presentation of 77 Boadrum, the official live documentary of the Japanese free-rock group the Boredoms’s live performance featuring 77 drummers at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, NY. General admission tickets for the film screening are $10.00. J-POP SUMMIT DAY – Saturday, September 18th Detroit Metal City San Francisco Premiere (Directed by Toshio Lee, 2008, Japan, 104min, 35mm, Japanese with English Subtitles) Based on the #1 death metal comedy manga series by Kiminori Wakasugi. Negishi (Kenichi Matsuyama) is a sweet and shy young man who dreams of becoming a trendy singer songwriter. But for some reason, he is forced into joining the devil worshiping death metal band “Detroit Metal City” (DMC). In full stage make-up and costume, he transforms into Johannes Krauser II (Sir Krauser) the vulgar-mouthed lead vocalist of the band. Against Negishi’s will, DMC rises to stardom. Now the legendary king of death metal Jack Il Dark (Gene Simmons) himself is challenging DMC to a duel. What is the fate of the innocent Negishi as he climbs to the top of the death metal world? Explicit language, viewer and parental discretion advised. Also screens September 19th – September 30th
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At Dragon*Con, a new view of 'Akira' impressions of Hiroshima Animation Festival 2010 Tokyo Scum Brigade on Takekuma Festival Liz Ohanesian reports from Power Morphicon Last Saturday, Shinjuku’s Loft+1 celebrated the 50th birthday of self-made manga author and critic Kentaro Takekuma with a round table discussion of the history of independent animation, the fine line between commercialism and art, and how to get your work noticed by the people who matter. Joining him were independent animators Frogman and Runparo, as well as manga author Demerin Kaneko.

Upcoming in North America (an Other English Speaking Territories)

Manga girl series Pretty Cure has begun being offfered on the UK's Sky Digital Channels PopGirl and PopGirl +1. The anime is currently streaming on a number of North American outlets, including Crunchyroll
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The first season of She-Ra: Princess of Power series will be released on DVD, She-Ra: Volume 1, Season 1 (20 episodes; $19.93 SRP) and through digital downloads on iTunes (www.itunes.com) and Hulu. In addition, for the first time, the entire series is coming to DVD, She-Ra: The Complete Series 25th Anniversary Edition (93 episodes; $99.93 SRP). The box set will include collectible stickers, an iron-on and an episode guide. “As the most powerful woman in the universe, She-Ra continues to add her strength to our collector portfolio,” said Scott Neitlich, Manager, Action Play Marketing, Mattel, Inc. “Being able to give fans new collectibles and keeping our heroine relevant after 25 years through new adaptations is a true testament to the iconic stature of She-Ra.” To commerate the series' 25th anniversary, Mattel will also release a series of collectibles on www.MattyCollector.com throughout the year, including a She-Ra action figure.
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Pirates of Dark Water will be released on DVD by Warner Archive TVShowsOnDVD is also reporting that more classic cartoons are being prepared, with Thundarr the Barbarian and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space being the most commonly mentioned possibilities. Anime Midstream Anime Midstream Inc. announced today that Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh will now be known as Matchless Raijin-Oh due to copyright updates with Sunrise. Matchless Raijin-Oh DVD Volume 2 will be available for release on September 13th. The second volume includes episodes 6 through 10 of the 51 episode series in both English Language and Japanese Language with English Subtitles along with DVD extras. The DVD will be available at Anime Midstream's website and other online stores. FUNimation FUNimation Entertainment today announced that it has acquired home entertainment, broadcast and digital rights for the fantasy adventure series “Disgaea” from d-rights. The 12-episode series is directed by Kiyotaka Isako (“Love Hina” and “Utawarerumono”) and based on the popular Disgaea role-playing games developed by Nippon Ichi Software. About Disgaea The Netherworld is in chaos since the death of its Overlord. His demon son sets out to claim the throne, accompanied in his adventures by an angel-assassin trainee, and his demon underling who controls an army of minions. Along the way they’ll meet a variety of friends and foes including curvy scientists, healers, samurai and more. When three major powers –demons, angels, and humans—vie for control, obtaining and maintaining the title of Overlord won’t be easy. FUNimation will release the complete series on DVD in early 2011. In the meantime, watch the first episode featuring the English voice track now live on www.funimation.com/video the dub case for FUNimation's release of the Madhouse adaptation of Rideback will be Rin Ogata: Tia Ballard Haruki Hishida: Micah Solusod Megumi Yoda: Alexis Tipton Tenshiro Okakura: Bryan Massey Shouko Uemura: Kristi Bingham Tamayo Kataoka: Stephanie Young Media Blasters Releases rescheduled for November include 11/16 Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend Movie - DVD and Blu-ray Voltron: Fleet of Doom - Blu-ray NIS America Toradora! Vol. 2 9/28/2010 The high school romantic comedy continues as Ryuji and Taiga slowly begin to understand their feelings not just towards their crushes, but what they mean to one another. Christmas pageants, complete with a beautiful song, come and go. During a school trip to a ski resort, Ryuji will learn the truth about Taiga's heart. What will he do with this knowledge? The tiger and dragon stand together, but are they strong enough to face the obstacles life will throw at them?
PERSONA Vol. 2 9/28/2010 The peaceful days at Ayanagi city came to an end for the Kanzato brothers when the eldest brother, Ryo, disappeared one night. His childhood sweetheart was found dead and he was the prime suspect. Shin and Jun deal with the loss of their only remaining family while taking up their brother's will to use their Personas to fight against the dark presence growing in the city. It is up to Shin and his Persona to stop the distortion and bring an end to the Marebito and their twisted goals of exploiting Personas. PandoraHearts Vol.1 10/26/2010 Oz Vessalius, who just turned fifteen, leads a rich and privileged life as the heir to the Vessalius name and estate. Everything changes when, during his Coming of Age Ceremony, he is drawn into an eternal prison known as "Abyss." There he meets and is saved by Alice, the Bloody Black Rabbit, or B-Rabbit for short. Join Oz on this fantasy adventure as he unravels the mysteries behind Alice, Abyss, and the "Pandora" organization.
Our Home’s Fox Deity Vol.1 11/16/2010 The Takagami brothers are protected by a supernatural, yet mischievous, fox by the name of “Kugen." Together with an absent-minded shrine maiden, "Ko," their adventures full of action and comedy revolve around the many characters in this mysterious story. Fantasy settings such as with the Onmyoudo are utilized fully in the many battle scenes! Don't miss any of it! Extraordinary things happen in their ordinary lives, coupled with so many characters with so much personality.
Our Home’s Fox Deity © Jin Shibamura / ASCII MEDIA WORKS / Oinarisama Partners

Upcoming in Japan

Promos Iron Man Tamayura BakaTest Brave Spirits Brave Star Driver Super Robot Taisen OG: The Inspector Anime Producer: Hiroaki Takeuchi (THINK Corporation, Cencoroll, Voices of a Distant Star) Director: Osamu Kobayashi (Beck, Paradise Kiss) Digest Writer: Takashi Yamashita (Cencoroll, Melty Lancer) Supervisor: Junichi Sato (Mahou Tsukai Tai!, Aria, Shugo Chara!! Doki—) Choreographer: Ken Maeda Opening Animation: TYO Animation (Appleseed) Ending Animation: Cinegriot (Ring of Gundam, Yatterman, live-action Kamui Gaiden) Character Designer: mebae (Sugar Dark: Umerareta Yami to Shojo illustrator, Black Rock Shooter animator, Cencoroll contributor) The Chateau of Versailles, the apartments that once housed the kings and queens of France, is hosting an exhibition of Murakami's sculptures from September 14 to December 15. Among the sculptures that will be exhibited are "Flower Matango" and "Tongari-kun." Murakami's previous anime works include "Superflat Monogram" with Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars), the "Kaikai & Kiki" anime shorts, Kanye West's "Good Morning" music video, and Louis Vuitton's "Superflat First Love" short. Last month, Murakami art-directed a magazine cover featuring American singer Britney Spears. Manga creator Seiji Matsuyama later revealed that the photoshoot was an indirect protest against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's unsuccessful bill to restrict sexualized depictions of "nonexistent youths." Vice Governor Naoki Inose had shown Matsuyama's Okusama wa Shogakusei manga on television as an example of which manga should be restricted. Murakami then asked Matsuyama via Twitter about using Matsuyama's art to inspire his magazine photoshoot. Not quite, upcoming in Japan, but superflat artist Takashi Murakami will be creating a new animated project for his Versailles exhibition in France "Six Hearts Princess" will feature Producer: Hiroaki Takeuchi (THINK Corporation, Cencoroll, Voices of a Distant Star) Director: Osamu Kobayashi (Beck, Paradise Kiss) Digest Writer: Takashi Yamashita (Cencoroll, Melty Lancer) Supervisor: Junichi Sato (Mahou Tsukai Tai!, Aria, Shugo Chara!! Doki—) Choreographer: Ken Maeda Opening Animation: TYO Animation (Appleseed) Ending Animation: Cinegriot (Ring of Gundam, Yatterman, live-action Kamui Gaiden) Character Designer: mebae (Sugar Dark: Umerareta Yami to Shojo illustrator, Black Rock Shooter animator, Cencoroll contributor)
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Shonen Jump series Beelzebub, abou a high school tough raising the devil's son, is being adaptated into a TV anime seires
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Production of a follow-up to indie anime short Cencoroll has been confirmed
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Tomonori Inoue's action sci-fi manga Coppelion will be adapted into anime
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Go Nagai's horror action series Dororon Enma-kun is recievign a new adaptation. A mature OVA version of series was released in North America by Bandai Visual Manga Tatsuya Egawa's risque work and love comedy Golden Boy will be returning in Business Jump
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Evangelion will be getting a new goofy spin-off courtesy of Tony Takezaki not Evangelion Live Action Junior Chihara will be the lead in a TV drama adaptation of New King of Minami District
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Again, not in Japan, but... Hayate the Combat Butler in getting a live action TV adaptation in Taiwan starring Shin-Hye Park and George Hu
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Gokusen author Kozueko Morimoto's Deka Wanko (Detective Doggie) is getting a live action TV drama adaptation

Digital Distribution News

Deb Aoki spoke to Crunchyroll CEO Kun Gao about the extent to which they plan to be involved with digitally distrubuting manga
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Anime News Network is now streaming Mezzo DSA Nanaka 6/17
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the Top selling Osamu Tezuka ebooks for the first half of 2010 were No.1 Black Jack No.2 Phoenix No.3 Buddha No.4 Three Adolf No.5 Three eyed one No.6 Hidamarinoki No.7 Astro boy No.8 Ayako No.9 MW No.10 Dororo on the flip side, a Tezuka draft sketch is being used to promoted value of paper media
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NEC BIGLOBE has launched a bilingual manga magazined called Manga-Boshi
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Crunchyroll, Inc., and Tai Seng Entertainment announced the launch of MYTV.TAISENG, a joint development partnership between the companies featuring premium content from Hong Kong and mainland China. Access to the MYTV.TAISENG website is available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese at http://mytv.taiseng.com/ Shows are now available for streaming on the MyTV website, with iPhone / iPad applications to be made available soon. Subscribers can sign up for a limited time introductory monthly price of $7.99 for unlimited access to all content in high quality streaming without ads.
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NTT Solmare has announced that it is launching its first digital manga in the U.S. via the Nokia Ovi store with titles including Cyborg 009, Appleseed, Always by Your Side.
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Ponyo is on Netflix instant watch
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After failing to convince Google to block them in search results, Marvel has DMCA'ed comic scan sites

Anime x Games

Studio Ghibli/Level 5's Ni no Kuni will be playable at Tokyo Game Show Screenshots of One Piece Gigant Battle for the Nintendo DS Super Robot Taisen L Dragon Ball Tag VS

And the Award Goes To...

Helen McCarthy's the Art of Osamu Tezuka, released by Abrams ComicArts, has won the Harvey Award for Best American Edition of Foreign Material category.

The Business

Media Blasters' president Johm Sirabella speaks to the exaggerated reports of his business' death NJ warehouse padlocked?? Come on by and say hi! We are there and it will be open till August 30th as we are moving it to Des Moines Iowa and having a company by the Right Stuf handle it. The NYC office is there and not going anywhere...I need somewhere to do my cycle training.
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Anime production studios Group TAC (Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Touch and Office AO (co-produced Seven of Seven, Girls Bravo, Hajime no Ippo, Silent Möbius, Alien Nine, Kaiketsu Zorro) have filed for bankruptcy.
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a look at Manga magazine demographics

Cool Figures News

Upcoming A KOTOBUKIYA Japanese imports include BORDER BREAK ZEBRA 41 FINE SCALE MODEL KIT Each robot in the Border Break series is built on the universal core “Cross Frame” outfitted with additional armor, weapons, and accessories. The robots are fully articulated and poseable, and you can combine and interchange parts from different units to create your own original Blast Runner! Standing 6 inches tall, the Zebra 41 is comprised of approximately 300 parts and has an outstanding 30 points of articulation. srp $34.99 Available in NOVEMBER
© SEGA BORDER BREAK COUGAR TYPE S FINE SCALE MODEL KIT A KOTOBUKIYA Japanese srp $39.99 Available in JANUARY
©SEGA©KOTOBUKIYA Co.,Ltd All Rights Reserved. KOTOBUKIYA FRAME ARMS TYPE 38 MODEL 1 REMODELING RYURAI MULTI ASSEMBLE MECHANICAL UNIT KIT While the Zennrai featured a booster pack and heavy armor, the Ryurai goes even further with massive weaponry and advanced systems. It also continues the “main battle tank” motif with tank treads and alternate heavily armored legs. The Ryurai features all-new components like the S5 Optical Visor, Long Range Plasma Solid Cannon, and Type 65 Shield in addition to its standard complement of weapons. Standing almost 6 1/2 inches tall, the robot is comprised of approximately 300 parts providing nearly 30 points of articulation. srp $34.99 Available in November
©Kotobukiya CO.,LTD. ONE-SHOT BUG KILLER!! INTERCEPTOR DOLL HOIHOI-SAN OBORO PLASTIC MODEL KIT A KOTOBUKIYA Japanese import! Hoi Hoi-San cannot be stopped! Joining the line of 1:1 scale models of Interceptor Dolls is the first accessory kit straight out of the hit series, Pest- X’s awesome OBORO motorcycle! Increasing the Doll’s fighting capabilities dramatically, the Oboro has two distinct modes. Pest-X can ride the device in motorcycle mode, and when you transform it into the “Daitetsuwan” (“large arms”) mode the Interceptor can wear it behind her shoulders and take on Combat-San with her special “Zentaz Ryudaken (Mikazuchi)” move! You’ll be hard-pressed to choose how to display this model, with its sleek and stylish vehicle mode and the powerful exo-skeleton form with huge arms and hands! Pre-painted in dark blue and red parts to match its rider, the 6 ½ inch long (1/1 scale!) Oboro even has synthetic rubber tires that feel real. srp $39.99 Available in NOVEMBER
© ?????/????•???????? ONE-SHOT BUG KILLER!! INTERCEPTOR DOLL HOI HOI-SAN MINI WITH HOI HOI CARRY Interceptor Doll Hoi Hoi-San is the main character’s diminutive assistant and support staff, HOI HOI-SAN MINI WITH HOI HOI CARRY! This little “doll” resembles her boss, with a cute maid’s uniform complete with bowtie, puffy shoes, gloves, and a big bow in her hair. She may be small, but she’s still an Interceptor Doll and comes armed with a special “Pumping Gun” in her size. She also brings an exclusive “Hand Gatling Gun” for her boss, and the fantastic Hoi Hoi Carry. A portable armory, the Carry cart has hooks on its sides for weapon storage as well as a dividing plate and opening hatch for loading items big and small. Hoi Hoi-San Mini also comes with extra eye parts for customization, three sets of hands (closed, open, and weapon gripping), and special decals. At just over 3 ¼ inches tall she is in 1:1 scale along with the other One-Shot Bug Killer!! robots. Sculpted by Tsukuru Shirahige and Yuta Itoyama, the extermination assistant and her gear are comprised of approximately 200 pieces, and Mini has 30 points of articulation. srp $39.99 Available in JANUARY
© ?????/????•???????? PATLABOR THE MOBILE POLICE ~ GRIFFON D-STYLE MODEL KIT The Griffon D-Style model kit captures the look of the original mecha with stunning detail in a cute little package. With 60 pre-painted parts and easy snap-fit assembly, no glue or paint is necessary! In addition to the classic jet black color scheme, the Griffon also has several tampo print logos; there are also special pre-painted parts including the camera eye, red chest triangle, and hips. You can display the diminutive robot with various included parts like the flight unit or the aqua unit and multiple hands. Standing slightly over 4 ¼ inches tall, this little robot has approximately 15 points of articulation. srp $19.99 Available in DECEMBER
©HEADGEAR / BAND

Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 6, 2010, 6:47 p.m. CST

    Wow, big article...

    by LordPorkington

    But always enjoyable, especially the Japanese toys. I bought a Marmit Stormtrooper and Boba Fett in Tokyo, both of which still take pride of place on my computer desk.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Bella

    by susankq1111

    I strongly recommend ______ B l a c k w h i t e C u p i d * C o m ______ to you where I just found my interracial boyfriend! You know it is a great place to meet black men and beautiful women. What's kind of relationship do you want? ;)

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:19 p.m. CST

    LOL

    by susankq1111

    I strongly recommend ______ B l a c k w h i t e C u p i d * C o m ______ to you where I just found my interracial boyfriend! You know it is a great place to meet black men and beautiful women. What's kind of relationship do you want? ;)

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Biomega

    by slaughterstorm

    Biomega rules. Awesome review!

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Picked up Biomega Vol 1

    by Johnno

    Will definately pick p 2 and 3 later.<br><br>I would love to make BLAMe! into a video game. It'd be part ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, and part Third person action/shooter. 70% of the entire game will involve moving through areas and finding your way around with occasional encounters with bad guys and some set piece action sequences to match the story portions of the manga. But most of the time you're jus wandering around the place on your own climbing and solving puzzles to reach new areas, either alone or with Cibo when she's around. Oh man! That game would be so awesome! Someone should give me money and I'll get a team together to do it. Since most of the game is comprised of huge room puzzles and travel, it'd definately be a loooong single player and it'd help lend that sense of the huge amount of time that passes by in the manga. Environments should also be destructible, so we can BLAM through huge structures and watch it crumble apart. I'd love to design that game!