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Anime DVD Reviews
Chobits (Volume 1)
Chobits (Volume 1)
It's a geek fantasy come true, she's a beautiful girl -AND- a personal computer. Pioneer's release of fan-favorite robot-girl series Chobits is a charmer, and not just because it's funny and full of fan-service, but (if you can wait until the REAL story around episode 10), it's a marvelous and mysterious animated essay on man's love-affair with technology. Created by CLAMP (who seem to be capable of doing no wrong), the series is insightful and intriguing with good balance on the characters.

ChobitsPioneer has done an excellent job on the dubbing, and the DVD contains a few nice extras. After you've sampled the first disc, you'll be dying for more, and of course, who could live without *also* having the soundtrack and manga? If you liked Video Girl Ai, you'll love Chobits.

FLCL (Fooly Cooly) - Vol. 1
FuriKuri pokes fun at everything in a bizarre self-referential way, while being absolutely the most intentionally obtuse series since Excel Saga. Created by Studio Gainax, this set of 6 episodes contains enough character, storyline and wit to have actually been 4 times as long. You're going to need to watch every frame, because, believe us, some of it goes by so fast it'll make your head spin.

FLCLFor those of you living on chaos theory, you'll learn a thing or two about yourself in the complete and total madness of this show's slice-of-life, stylistically-intense, coming-of-age screwball-comedy. Combined with the most awesome rockin' soundtrack we've ever heard, this is 6 episodes that may be the greatest anime ever. Get all the DVDs.

The Slayers
The Slayers - DVD Collection
Special Edition (Episodes 1-26)

To be truthful, we've never quite understood why so many anime fans are nuts about Slayers. However, the show definitely has it's moments. It's a hysterical send-up of Dungeons and Dragons, and seems to poke fun especially at Record of Lodoss War. It will strike a chord with anyone who's played role playing games, or read one too many fantasy novels.

SlayersSorceress Lina Inverse, the main character, is an egotistical, bad-tempered, rash, greedy, loud-mouthed, liar who cheats, steals, beats up her own friends, and is just about un-like-able in every way, and she's the hero of the story! This should give you an idea of just how bad the bad guys have to be in this type of setting. Naturally, this makes for some pretty interesting action and humor. Now that we think about it, we *can* understand the hub-bub about Slayers -- it's good stuff!

Sailor Moon Uncut
Sailor Moon - Season One
Complete and Uncut

(Japanese Language Edition)

Drool, drool, pant, pant! The unreleased version of Sailor Moon is finally on our shores! If you thought the English-dubbed version of the show was cool, watch out! This complete and uncut version is darker, bloodier, and has many more plot twists than what was shown on American TV. Now find out *why* this show has the insane legion of fans it ardently deserves. Be prepared to laugh, be shocked and shed lots and lots of tears.

Sailor MoonThis boxed set contains all 46 episodes (some never aired in the US) of the show's first season, as a set of 8 DVDs (with optional English subtitles) packaged in a handsome foil-stamped art-box. Usagi never had a treatment so nice. In the name of the Moon, you shall buy this!

Shaolin Soccer
Shaolin Soccer
Holy Frickin' Kermit Jesus! It's Seven Samurai meets Dragonball Z! This is the greatest movie ever! Director/actor Stephen Chow uses comedy and clever digital effects to make the most outstanding soccer-movie, love-story, kung-fu-film of all time! Stop whatever you're doing and see this movie RIGHT NOW. Even if you hate soccer you'll love this flick. From the title theme to the closing credits, this film is so ingenious and well put-together that the moment it ends you'll feel the urge to watch it again.

Shaolin SoccerThis may be the closest we've ever come to wearing-out an indestructible DVD. Prepare to buy another DVD player because you'll burn out the old one watching this over and over. Vastly entertaining and with a hilarious ending, this film is worth every cent spent making it, and every cent buying it!

Our Favorite Toys, Models and Gizmos
Raijin Comics
Raijin Comics
[Magazine Subscription]

Okay, this is not a toy per se, but it's certainly the gift that keeps on giving. Get it for a friend, get it for a relative, or get it for yourself, because these are serialized Manga, just like the big "Shonen Jump" type, telephone-book sized, weekly manga books in Japan.

Raijin ComicsWith "City Hunter", "Fist of the Blue Sky", "Baki the Grappler", "Bow Wow Wata" and more between the covers (along with some insightful stuff on Manga and Japanese Culture in general), plus everything lovingly translated into English (but still reading right to left), it's a manga-lover's dream come true. Read your manga just as the Japanese do! Recommended Books:
Animation: The Whole Story
Animation The Whole Story
Howard Beckerman is an animation historian and instructor in NYC who has spent more than 30 years working everywhere in the industry. His voluminous memory for everything germane to animation is without equal. He is the "Yoda" of animation, and he will train you, young jedi. It is with this preface that we proudly present to you this informative tome that not only will hand-hold you through the basics, but teach you the very foundations that the art of animation is based on -- that animation is the art of movement, and *not* merely the movement of art.

PopeyeThe book includes a world history of animation, how to design characters, write stories, do the animation, get it onto film or video and all about working in the field or doing your own productions. He also provides practical advice on how to set up and run a studio. For example, he points out that there are three main aspects to running a successful studio: landing jobs, being able to do the work required, and getting paid for the work that's been done. He then points out that as a general rule, an individual shouldn't attempt to do more than two of those functions. It's good advice, and a small example of the wisdom that's packed into this book. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or a seasoned veteran, this book deserves a spot on your shelf.

The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics
The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics
For the budding illustrator and animator, learning to ink, and ink *properly* is an essential skill. Even with all the fancy computer coloring, nothing adds dimension to illustrations like good use of line weight, textures, and light & shadow.

Using DC characters and comics as examples, Janson's lively, step-by-step instructions are informative, exciting -- and clear enough for even a beginner to follow. In addition, every technique shown in the guide conforms to actual industry standards (i.e. learn this book, and get a job!). Even seasoned professionals will find something to learn here. It is crammed with great art and excellent examples of the art of inking, and is easily the best book we have seen on the subject.

Music and Soundtrack Selections:
Serial Experiments Lain Soundtrack
Serial Experiments Lain Soundtrack
If you've been watching Serial Experiments: Lain on TECHTV, then you're already in love with the impressive grunge/electronica opening theme. But this Pioneer-released soundtrack is more like Dark Side of the Moon, in that it's also peaceful and moody, while also being a little creepy, just like the series itself.

LainJust as you settle peacefully between tracks 2 and 4, track 5 will jarr you back to life (or make you stand on the gas pedal!). With a variety of musical styles represented, there's something for everyone here; trust us, just get it. You won't be disappointed.

Akira: Original Soundtrack [IMPORT]
Akira: Original Soundtrack [IMPORT]
Akira broke so much new ground for anime the world over, you never run out of spots to tout it. One of the most kinetic, unique and original movie soundtracks ever, this album was also a ground-breaker using a bizarre combination of percussion wooden instruments to produce the kind of sound you've never heard before until you hear this.

Definitely worth running through the car's sound system. Guaranteed "drive-faster" music

Upcoming Events and Cool Links:
 Manga Information on Chobits
An unofficial website that also features wallpaper and a great art gallery too!

Chobits Forum
A well run discussion forum for fans of Chobits. Also includes episode guides and character overviews.

The Official Chobits Website
Of course it's in Japanese! By the way it pays to explore their old website too...

Slayers Universe
One of the best websites on Slayers that we have come across! Current Issue | Sitemap | The Anime Wallpaper Guide

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