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Anime DVD Reviews
Love Hina - Moving In - With Series Box

Love Hina - Moving In -
With Series Box (DVD)

A zany romantic comedy in a 'Rumiko-Takahashi-kind-of-way', Love Hina is one of those rare shows, like Tenchi Muyo, where the characters grow on you and you come to love them as part of your family.

Hey there fanboy! I'm soooooo cute...The main character is a likeable loser, a sort of cross between Keiichi in Oh My Goddess and Ataru Moroboshi of Urusei Yatsura. Trying to keep a promise he made in childhood turns out to be the biggest load of trouble he could ever get himself into. He has a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- within the first few minutes of the first episode, he's managed to accidentally crawl into the women's hot-spring! And just wait until you see the fast and furious action that follows! (No, not *that* kind of action, get your mind out of the gutter!)

With Naru being (literally) the girl of his dreams, Love Hina is a formula show with a refreshing twist. While watching the first few episodes, we often had the urge to play Offspring's "Self Esteem", because it seemed to relate so closely! For anyone who's had to deal with unrequited love (and haven't we all), Love Hina is about a loser with a shot at happiness -- will he get the girl or screw up? Watch and find out - the journey is the reward!

Escaflowne - The Series
(Limited Edition Boxed Set)

More words have been written about this series than can be held in a typical library. It's one of those rare oddities you'll love or hate, but either way, you'll feel passionately about it. Escaflowne draws heavily on several different anime genres, such as classic mecha, sword-and-sorcery, and magical girl adventures. The series has a lot going for it -- great art direction, fantastic character development, and intriguing storyline that gets more and more elaborate as the series progresses, as well as a top-notch musical score by non other than Yoko Kanno (of Cowboy Bebop fame!). Of interest is that the giant robots battle each other with swords, essentially, very large medieval armor (shades of Aura Battle Dunbine!).

Escaflowne: Otaku love to debate this show...Otaku love to debate this series at every convention. The combination of teenage romance, fantastic robot-suits ("guymelefs"), elaborate battles, histrionic villains, and a world-threatening challenge has made the 26-episode series a favorite among many. And don't think you saw it last year on Fox Kids Network -- that was a heavily chopped version.

City Hunter: Secret Service
City Hunter: Secret Service (DVD)
And now something for the guys who like action! Created by Tsukasa Hojo, (who also created one of our favorite "unknown" classics, Catseye) City Hunter is a durable franchise, having had a series, which was killed, then two movies, and even a live action movie starring Jackie Chan.

Ryo Saeba: You can look macho in a pink jacket!Ryo Saeba is a bodyguard for hire, who can perform the typical anime superhero feats of dodging bullets and jumping over cars while simultaneously attempting to get into the pants of every woman he sees.

With a patent-able mix of James Bond-like action and slapstick humor (mostly revolving around his attempts to woo women and his partner Kaori's 'Yojimbo style' sledgehammers doing damage to his skull), City Hunter will have you glued you your seat, eyes fixed on the screen, while you aren't snorting Coca-Cola through your nose in hysterics.

Royal Space Force
Royal Space Force -
Wings of Honneamise (DVD)

Most anime features are churned out in less than 6 months. By comparison, Wings of Honneamise took over 3 years to complete, cost over 800 Million Yen (at the time, the most expensive animated film ever made in Japan), features a musical score written by an Academy Award Winning composer, and one of the deepest, most realistically conceived and executed alternate worlds ever brought to the screen. The plot (on the surface) is a little like "The Right Stuff" from the Russian point of view, but there's a lot more going on socio-politcal-wise.

One of our favorites...Every frame is meticulously crafted, it's a labor of love by the highly dedicated team of artists at Gainax and it shows in every single sequence. You'll need DVD because there are so many portions of the film you'll want to pause, study and re-watch. The film was made in 1987 and yet it still looks cutting edge even by todays standards. There are so many sequences of this film that will "blow you away" we won't even bother mentioning things like the assasin, the first flight in a plane, and the battle before the space shot. Even the newspaper a character reads idly is well-designed and fascinating. Everything about this flick screams "masterpiece", and you will listen. This work of art may forever change the way you think about anime.

Reboot - Volume 1
Reboot - Vol. 1 (DVD)
Reboot was the first computer animated TV series, and the folks at Mainframe gave us one of the best shows ever made in the all-cgi genre. With tongue-in-cheek writing, technical in-jokes abounding, clever characters, cool games, and a plethora of good ideas, the show was simply a mind-blower on every level.

The first computer animated TV series...Unfortunately, this DVD, marked Volume 1 is actually the start of the Third Season of the show, however, it's a blessing in disguise, as these episodes never aired on ABC Saturday Mornings. Be prepared for character changes, as Enzo is now a little more grown up, Bob is missing, and there really isn't anyone to defend against the likes of Megabyte and Hexadecimal. Recommended Books:
The Anime Encyclopedia
The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917
Choosing some of the best examples of anime, the authors review and detail more than 2000 anime films and TV series. Each entry includes a short synopsis, commentary, details about key creative personnel, and evaluation of the work's significance. However, the editorial evaluations are harsher than McCarthy's The Anime Movie Guide: some of the most popular anime series in America -- Tenchi, Evangelion, Ranma 1/2 -- receive sharp criticism. This will cause some fans to howl with glee, while others will just howl. We hope the authors don't make public appearances at major anime conventions, as some fans might want to have a lynching...

Speed Racer liked his entry!Nevertheless, the end product is the most complete guide of its kind in any language (including Japanese), that will be appreciated by anime experts and neophytes alike. Recommended for all libraries and essential for film and media collections. Despite the authors inserting their opinions far too often within this book, this is an important work and you should own a copy.

The Daria Database
The Daria Database
Editor's Note: This book is out of print but worth buying used for Daria fans.

Anime isn't the only animation aimed at adults, MTV managed to produce one of the most intelligent, and poignant cartoon series ever, when they created Daria. Now enjoy some of the wit and wisdom from the show in this epiphemeral tome. A hip and sarcastic look at life through the eyes of a cynical high school student.

Now that Daria is running again on Noggin (, the show has enjoyed a kind of resurgence, and we really enjoy it, so The Daria Database is a welcome A to Z dose of hilarity for those of us that view life from the harsh light of reality. Featuring notes and insights from most of the characters, along with biting commentary from our hero, Daria fans will also learn a thing or two about some of the more peripheral characters, like the names of Sandi's brothers. If you love Daria, then this is a must-have, as it's the closest thing there is to a Daria "Roman Album".

Anime Interviews
Anime Interviews : The First Five Years of Animerica, Anime & Manga Monthly (1992-97)
If you've ever wondered just how Leiji Matsumoto came up with the idea of a steam locomotive flying through space, or been curious as to what drives those with a passionate creative vision, then look no further than this book. Trish Ledoux has taken the various interviews of the anime magazine "Animerica", and compiled them into one volume. This is not about the creations of anime, but a look inside the hearts and minds of the creators themselves -- their lives and what inspired them to do what they did.

Meet Mr. Matsomoto!In Japan, those who create anime are often as famous as their creations. If you have heard of the names "Katsuhiro Otomo" or "Hayao Miyazaki", then think how their celebrity status is in Japan. Anime Interviews speaks to this, and allows us to see these creators as the Japanese do. If you own every issue of Animerica already, then nothing in this book will surprise you -- but if you want to really read about what makes these people tick, then pick this up and give it a try. Current Issue | Sitemap | The Anime Wallpaper Guide

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