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Anime DVD Reviews
Lupin the 3rd
Lupin the 3rd - The World's Most Wanted (TV Series, Vol. 1 DVD)
If you don't know about Lupin the Third, shame on you! It is without a doubt, one of the most popular anime/manga franchises of all time, spawning 228 television episodes, 14 TV movies, and 6 theatrical films (the second being 'Castle of Cagliostro' previously reviewed here). Based on the manga by Monkeypunch, it's the wild saga of the grandson of the French jewel thief Arsene Lupin. He and his 'gang' (a Chicago gunslinger and a Japanese samurai, (and sometimes-partner Fujiko) go through one madcap caper after another, with their javert, the indestructible Inspector Zenigata, close on their heels.

Lupin the 3rd is Back!Older anime fans know all of this all ready. But they should also know that they can now throw out their moldy, fifth generation, extra long/6 hour speed videocassette copies of Lupin III. Pioneer has brought the show to DVD, and they've done a brilliant job with it. The ADR writers at Pioneer are having a field day making sure that the English interpretation keeps to the fun (and funny) spirit of the series. The incredibly clever and witty dialogue is extremely well done -- it's actually hysterical! American voice actors serve the characterizations well - comedy is timing, and they do a good job delivering funny lines. The DVD is packed with a whopping six episodes (plus some cool extras) and the crystal-clear transfer is so sharp you can see the dust on the cels. We were very impressed by what we've seen so far and can't wait for more to come out. Lupin rocks!

The Transformers: Season Two
Transformers Season Two Box Set, Part 1
For those of you who thought the Season 1 Box Set was to die for comes the Season Two Set - Part 1. The second season of the Transformers had some of the most memorable episodes, with many new characters introduced with quite a few making appearances on the third and fourth discs. It's great to see Devastator/Constructicons and the Dinobots on a regular basis as well as newer Autobot characters such as Grapple, Hoist, Tracks, Beachcomber, Warpath, Red Alert, Inferno, Cosmos, Smokescreen, Perceptor and Warpath. New Decepticon characters that turn up include Ramjet, Dirge, Thrust, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Frenzy and Buzzsaw.

Transformers: More than meets the Eye!All time classic characters such as Ironhide, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Starscream, Brawn and Ratchet are given a good run which is terrific. It's great to see more of Skyfire and Shockwave as well (& Swoop is very cool). 24 Episodes are squeezed onto a 4-disc set, along with some extras including interviews from the voice talent when they were part of 'Botcon 2002'. It's a super-cool must-have for all of us regardless of whether we consider ourselves to be an Autobot or Decepticon.

Virus Buster
Virus Buster Serge (DVD)
This action-packed thriller, directed by Masami Obari (Battle Arena Toshinden, Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture) has everything anime fans have come to expect from the genre — complex character development, and inventive design along with a plethora of mecha-combat sequences that will leave your mouth hanging open! Virus Buster Serge is a DVD-only release of a four-part "mini-series" that aired originally in 1997.

Virus Buster: We have the Fever!The film is a sea of mysteries, with dream sequences seeming as real as the life of the main character, set in Neo-Hong Kong, 2097, when genetic engineering and advanced cybernetics now regularly fuse man and machine. However, the technology that facilitates such melding has become susceptible to computer virii capable of controlling the hybrids and an elite task force is assembled to deal with the resulting chaos. Feeling a little like Ghost in the Shell combined with Bubblegum Crisis, Virus Buster Serge contains both what you expect, as well as a lot of surprises!

Project A-ko
Project A-ko (DVD)
Reviewed by Lawrence Sufrin
It's the anime version of Road Runner and Coyote. The 1983 movie Project A-Ko spawned a plethora of sequels and spin-offs. It still holds up on its own as a wild, sassy take on superheroes, Japanese school girls, and alien invaders. Student cuties A-Ko, C-Ko and B-Ko have a lot of problems in store for them besides being late for class. They must do battle with a drunken Captain Harlock look alike, genetic mutant students, and each other. Nightmares and fantasies collide as the super schoolgirl genre is written for all others to copy.

It is a parody of all things anime while at the same time being one of the best examples ever of the genre as a whole. One of the running gags throughout the movie is that everyone is a girl -- even if it looks like a guy, trust us, it's a girl. The film is so packed with power that you're never given a moment to catch your breath, or even wonder why B-ko is so interested in that ditzy blonde — oh, and did we mention that C-ko's an alien space princess? With witty inside-joke humor, and a maelstrom of action ranging from intensive to downright silly at times, Project A-Ko is one of the few anime titles that that has withstood the test of time and gone on to become a true classic. No anime collection is complete without it.

Enter the Dragon
Enter the Dragon - Limited Edition Collector's Set (DVD)
Some martial arts movies do not age well, they start to look hokey and the action looks bad by comparison to today's standards of film-making. This is NOT one of those movies. Enter the Dragon is still one of the best kick-ass flicks of all time, starring "the master" BRUCE LEE!!!!!!

Bruce Lee IS the Master! The man is so freaking intense in this film you will believe everything you're seeing. The last film completed by Bruce Lee before his untimely death, Enter the Dragon was his entre into Hollywood (not counting his stint as Kato in the short-lived TV series The Green Hornet). The American-Hong Kong co-production, filmed by American director Robert Clouse, stars Lee as a British agent sent to infiltrate the criminal empire of bloodthirsty Asian crime lord Han (Shih Kien) through his annual international martial arts tournament.

For Bruce Lee fans, this really is one of his best films — and for English speaking audiences, this is the best film you're going to get to see from the master. Bruce Lee was simply unbeatable in every respect and Hong Kong has spent the last 30 years trying to find a replacement for this incredible martial artist and actor. Recommended Books:
Mecha Mania - From MECHA MANIA by Christopher Hart. © 2002 Art Studio LLC.
Mecha Mania: How to Draw Warrior Robots, Cool Spaceships, and Military Vehicles
Christopher Hart has a line of these books and they are all excellent. Aimed at both the novice and the expert, "How to Draw..." provides a useful base for the beginner to get his hands dirty drawing mecha, while at the same time giving useful tips for detailing those drawings that even someone who's been doing it for years would get something useful from.

Mecha Mania: Our kinda Art School!    From MECHA MANIA by Christopher Hart. © 2002 Art Studio LLC.  Walking that fine line between inundating a newbie with too much information, yet giving all of us a good lesson in creating cool-looking artwork, Hart strikes just the right blend of information, and of course, the book is full of some kick-ass illustrations, as well as break-downs of just how they were done.

If you've been inspired by anime and want to start making your own films, this book is a great guide to getting started doing the type of illustration you'll need to create your own anime. Combined with some books on the art of animation, you'll have a start at figuring out what it takes to make the anime we admire so much.

Music and Soundtrack Selections:
Kristine Sa
Kristine Sa -
I Never Knew

Kristine Sa is easy on the eyes and easy on the ears. A smooth and surprisingly wide vocal range allows her to create a mellow mood with just a twinge of j-pop sound. Her best tracks are the ones where she doesn't try too hard to fill the voids in the music and she just sings. The acoustic tracks are superior, but her digital j-pop shows her range of ability. Composer, musician, artist, writer, poet she is all of these things and more as she weaves her way into your heart.

Oh La La it's Kristine Sa!With a skillful blend of sultry, soulful ballads that will touch you and dance tracks that will ease you into a cool groove, her music is worth more than a listen — she's reaching deep into you and drawing out what makes each of us alive. A thousand emotions and more are waiting for you when you play this CD.

Upcoming Events and Cool Links:
 Kristine Sa
The official website and blog of an anime inspired diva on the rise. You may also want to visit her record company Nemesis Records too...

Kill Bill
The official website for the new Quentin Tarantino movie which will feature quite a bit of Kung Fu action and Uma Thurman. Current Issue | Sitemap | The Anime Wallpaper Guide

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