- The complete Boxed Set (DVD)
You don't just watch Trigun, you *experience* it. There's no easy
way to describe it. It's Cowboy
Bebop turned on its ear. It's comedy,
but with a complex
and bizarre plot. It's a western... on another planet. It's a
case of mistaken identity taken to an extreme. It's weird, wonderful,
and intelligent, but in a mind-numbingly bizarre and twisted way.
The characters aren't handled as realistically as Bebop, and it lacks
some of the panache, and the music's not
as good, but it's a damn good second to Bebop. And you gotta love
a guy with that much of a taste for Doughnuts!
certainly no lack of action, but amazingly, when you
consider the main character is supposed to be some kind
of superstar with a gun, he never actually fires until
the fifth episode. Yet, he manages to destroy more without
a gun than with. And, as the subject of a bounty (the
biggest ever), those after him to claim the reward are
often more destructive than he is! Massive mayhem and
considerable chaos ensue!
Yatsura - Volume 1 (DVD)
Known more commonly among fandom circles as "Those Obnoxious
Aliens", Urusei Yatsura became Rumiko
Takahashi's first mega-hit and catapulted her to superstar status
in manga and anime.
Highly regarded as one of the funniest and most original of all anime,
the series sets lecherous Ataru Moroboshi into the arms of the one
girl in the Universe he doesn't want an Alien Space Princess
in a Tiger-Striped Bikini.
and potential intergalactic warfare ensue; with Takashi's
now trademark bizarreness providing hours of fun for
anyone with a sense of humor. Don't be fooled by imitations this
series has more fun per square inch than just about
anything else out there. And luscious
Lum has gone on to become one of the most recognized
anime characters of all time. There's something for everyone
here, and Takahashi
delivers with both style and comedic timing.
- Boxed Set 1 (Episodes 1-26)
Gigantor the Space Age Robot, he's at your command, Gigantor the
Space Age Robot, his power is in your hand! How can you not sing
that song any time you even make mention of the name? It's as classic
as Astroboy and
possibly even more fondly remembered among American audiences. Baby
Boomers and Generation
X alike claim this series as their first exposure to anime (until
Speed Racer dominated our childhoods).
excellent release from Rhino (those
wacky guys with the cool
audio compilations and who also gave us the Battle
of the Planets DVD), includes the first 26 episodes,
PLUS, interviews with filmmaker Fred Ladd and anime historian
Fred Patten (hi
Fred!), a photo gallery and lots of other cool extras.
It's bigger than big. The video quality is excellent,
being a new transfer from restruck 16mm original prints.
This box set will take you back in time and make you
laugh and enjoy cartoons again. Dig those crazy bongos,
(Collector's Series Edition DVD)
While many people may know that Katsuhiro
Otomo and Rin
Taro collaborated to make the recently released Metropolis,
only the hardcore fans know that the two had worked together 20 years
previous on a film named Harmagedon (Genma Tasien). One of the most
groundbreaking anime films of all time, this pits Princess Luna and
her team of Espers gathered from around the world to fight an evil
bent of destroying the planet. This feature was so memorable; it
was parodied years later in Project
classic anime is not for the timid - there's Earth-shattering
(literally) destruction as major cities are leveled and
millions killed. This may be the only movie where everyone
dies and yet the good guys still win! With Rin Taro directing
and Otomo providing the character designs, you can assure
yourself that the action will be top notch!
Fantasy: The Spirits Within
This movie turned out to be much better than we thought. Ignore the
critics, this flick is way cool. If you've got even an inkling of
the Final Fantasy series of videogames,
you'll catch enough of the jokes to make the viewing more than worthwhile
(is there a 'Cid' in every FF Universe?). Nevertheless, the voice-acting
is dead-on, the characters are good, and the computer
animation simply rocks.
never seen CGI this good. Square goes as far as to animate
a chase sequence with hand-held camera style action.
As a result, there are many times where you'll swear
you're watching live people, but nope, this is all computer
generated. Yeah, the Gaia stuff gets a little heavy handed
in the last half of the film, but the action and overall
plot is as good as any Hollywood blockbuster and certainly
a gigantic plus for the art of CGI films. Prove that
CGI isn't just Pixar putting
out the latest kid-flick and get your hands on this adult-level
and very well-made animated movie that will suck you
into the action and not let go until the credits roll.
Having for years played the RPG
Mekton (before the days of 3D game systems or computers), we
were very pleased to find the high-end PC game MechWarrior,
and even more pleased to find this game MechAssault because
it's all the action of MechWarrior without the complexity. In this
game you play the pilot of the ultimate tactical assault weapon a
40-foot tall walking tank or in this case, what is obviously
a robot borrowed from the Macross
coolest about this game is that, much like the older "Army
Men" style games, you can pretty much blow up anything
you can see including anything in the environment
around you, trees, buildings, bridges, streets and more
can be toasted, and furthermore, the destructibility
of the scenery allows it to be used as a weapon. Don't
like the guy firing at you from the bridge? Blow up the
bridge he's standing on! Another mech evading your fire
by hiding behind a building? Blow up the building! Nothing
is off limits. Oh, but don't get too close or the resulting
explosions will damage you as well.
The game gets high points for single player mode, but multiplayer
mode over networked Xboxes is where the biggest fun is. Very much
like a Quake deathmatch,
but with 100-ton robots. It just doesn't get better than that!
Art of Spirited Away by Hayao
Direction Hayao Miyazaki has made some amazing films like Kikis
Delivery Service and Princess
Mononoke, and Spirited Away follows in that tradition.
This book takes more than one look to completely enjoy the
total artistic scope of Spirited Away. The book opens up with
a intro from Miyazaki, followed by a nice chapter which features
watercolor pencil sketches and concept art, a treat for those
of us who love pre-production artwork of character designs
and detailed architectiral drawings.
chapters feature actual art used in the movie,
like background paintings and animations
cels of the characters. But the book features
more than pretty pictures as there are interviews
with the animators which give you insights
into their creative process. This book is
not only a must for Miyazaki fans, but anyone
who loves the craft of animation film making.
for Busy People
Japanese for Busy People is exactly what the title says, for
people who want to learn essential Japanese as quickly and
as effectively as possible. Teaching both written and spoken
word, the book is littered with illustrations so that you
may instantly start recognizing things like No-Smoking signs
or how to read "Please Keep Off the Grass". But do
not be fooled into thinking this is simply a phrase-book.
Oh no, this is a complete study of Japanese, but it uses phrases
you'll need during the course of everyday life in Japan as
examples to guide you through each lesson.
Unlike many books that purport to teach Japanese, this does
not start off with simplistic ways of expression, rather, the
book aims to help the reader obtain the information he or she
needs by immediately using adult vocabulary and grammar patterns
that are used in conversational Japanese.
The book is divided into 30 easy lessons, with a quiz at the
end of each lesson to see what you've learned. What's amazing
is that each lesson should only take about a 1/2 hour to memorize,
which means that with about 15 devoted hours, you should be
well on your way to speaking
and reading Japanese. Truly Japanese for Busy People!
Asian Grocery Store Demystified by Linda
Bladholm, Jonathan Eismann
While many anime fans are eager to try and be the Iron
Chef at home, the thought of navigating through an Asian
grocery store is a different story. This highly illustrated
book takes you by the hand and gives a clear and fascinating
tour of these markets.
The author starts the book by describing the layout of an Asian
grocery store in her neighborhood. She shows that there is
indeed an order to these markets. "Asian markets are generally
stocked according to the principles of balance, " she
writes. "Hot, spicy, chili sauces and curry pastes are
all in one place; salty items are together in one row, and
bitter, sour or sweet things are in other sections." The
authors not only sort out the cultural context of an Asian
grocery store, but also does it in such a way that makes you
hungry to return. Besides there is nothing better than watching
anime while eating a bowl of hot noodles!
Best of Anime
What's most surprising about this album to us is that it's
put out by a non-Japanese company Rhino.
We've seen many compilation albums of anime
title songs before, but they were strictly Japanese. It's
like suddenly being hit over the head as we realize "Duh,
anime really HAS gone mainstream!" Also, Rhino goes a
bit further by giving us 4 tracks that are the American versions
of well-known anime (admittedly, Astroboy,
Speed Racer and Gigantor might
feel a bit out of place next to Megazone 23).
the album overall is a good sampling of what's
out there in terms of different anime music.
The CD features everything from the upbeat Urusei
Yatsura season 1 title song to the more
sublime "Sailing" (from Silent
Mobius) seems to be represented. Some
are too cute, but seem balanced compared
to the harder rock sound from Megazone and Macross
Plus. This CD is definitely one to play
in the car while driving, as it's fun and
you don't need to concentrate on the lyrics besides,
you're not likely to get road rage while
listening to the Sailor