- Threshold (Vol. 1)
RahXephon is a deep, complex seinen (animation for a young-adult male audience,
more mature than shonen), literate in scope with nuances that only serious anime
fans will appreciate. RahXephon resembles Neon
Genesis Evangelion in many respects, with plenty of action, loads of drama,
some extremely painful (but exceptionally well executed) tragedy, and gobs of
The story follows 17 year old Kamina Ayato's progress through an ongoing global
war, his search for the answer to the eternal question, "who am i",
and his battle with the emotions he feels for others. The plot is thick and full
of unanswered questions which can make it confusing at times, but the answers
are there in an awe-inspiring conclusion, and layers upon layers of depth. RahXephon
requires multiple viewings before it all makes sense, but when the light bulb
comes on, you'll feel the revelation.
of a Distant Star
Ever wanted to make
your own anime? Well, here's a film by someone who did! Although it looks
like a professional studio production, Voices of a Distant Star is a personal
film, made almost entirely by a single artist, Makoto Shinkai. Considering
task of doing most of the work singlehandedly, the results are astounding.
The art is beautiful and the storyline is both simple and touching -- an interstellar
romance, (talk about a long-distance relationship!) with Einsteinian
forces working against them.
This is the start of something new in anime -- films made as personal statements,
without traditional studios, and, thanks to computer technology, a single artist
can express his or her vision with no limitations or compromises.
- Hostile Takeover (Vol. 1)
It's retro-silliness when a "retired" robot is again called into duty
to save the world! Dai-Guard takes place in a future where "Shogun Warrior" types
have become tourist attractions from the heyday, but are now considered obsolete.
But when a old threat re-awakens, it's up to the hastily slapped together crew
to pilot the robot (much to the chagrin of the robot's owners!) and save humanity.
Dai-Guard is a fresh, entertaining, thought-provoking, wonderful combination
of humor and action and drama that brings with it an important message -- just
because it's old doesn't mean it's not useful! The animation is slick, and it's
good to see those old-style
robots doing what they do best, which is slamming 100
monsters into the sides of mountains!
Guy J - Super Android
The setting is the oceanic city-nation of Judoh. Androids are against
the law here, due to the danger of misuse. There is one important exception:
Heat Guy J-Super Android. He is created by the City Safety Management Agency
to combat crime. Along with his partner, special agent Daisuke Aurora, they go
out into Judoh's violent underworld, combating formidable criminals that push
them to the limits of their abilities.
Directed by Kazuki
Akane, this DVD
series delivers a gritty sense of the back alleys of a sprawling metropolis,
compelling visuals of dizzying action, breathtaking panoramas, slick-looking
mecha, and an endless assortment of fascinating characters along with tight,
Clavell's masterpiece of a novel was
many American's first exposure to Fuedal
Japan, Japanese customs and culture, and the first to cast away many of the
stereotypes we held about Japan. This brilliantly handled mini-series (featuring
some American's first views of John
Ryhs Davis and Toshiro
Mifune) captures the
flavor of the book, and adds plenty of action to boot!
Not seen on TV since the early 80's, many of you reading this now have probably
never even seen this (or are too young to remember), so this may be a real treat
for you. Starring the legendary Richard Chamberlain, we remember learning some
of our first Japanese words by watching this. Wakarimasu, Angin-San!
Magic Artist Cartoon Maker
Although this product is aimed at small children, and it's loaded with pre-made
Disney characters, and it's only 10 bucks, you'd be inclined to pass this by.
Well, *DON'T* -- because this product is one of the very few that has a true
'flipbook' function and allows you to create your own cartoons of any length
you desire. You can draw your own characters, (using the included Magic Artist
Deluxe CD) and slowly but surely animate them, color it in, import background
art and even create a full
length film using this software.
Considering the price, this is a very high-quality package full of advanced features.
Too many features in fact, for it's stated age range. Even adults will find some
of the tools challenging. It's like getting two nice pieces of software for half
the price of one. Get this, and start making your own anime films. Mac and PC
Boy, Vol. 1
Here's where it all began. The anime "rosetta stone", the starting
point for everything we know as anime and manga today is contained in this single
seminal work. Created by "Manga-no-kamisama", Dr.
Osamu Tezuka, this
comic book lead to the animated
series which became the worldwide phenomenon
we all know and adore.
Of interest to Tezuka fans is that the book is peppered with commentary by Tezuka
(obviously, before his untimely death), as well as translation into English by
Fred Schodt (author of Manga
Manga! & Dreamland
Japan). Young and old alike will enjoy this manga, with art and stories as
only the God of Comics himself could tell them. Every anime collection should
begin here, because this is where
anime was born.
That's where this super-useful volume comes in to fill that gap. Contained
within are the things you need to know to get by in Japan, and *not* be treated
When the day comes that we find the time to go to Japan, this book will be
required reading during the flight. Campai!
Depot 3: Ballistics Masamune
in the Shell, Appleseed),
is one of the most influential manga artists of our time. His art, a clever mix
of sex and sci-fi, is simply beautiful. Mixing traditional drawing with the latest
CG/3D techniques, over the past 10 years, Intron Depot 3: Ballistics features
some of Masamune Shirow's best artwork to date along with commentary from Shirow,
specific to each illustration,
in both English and Japanese, side by side.
Please note that this book is shock-full of adult content. Kiddies, stay
as far away from this one as possible. Big guns and hot babes are something
eyes are not ready to see. You have been warned.
This release by Pioneer/Geneon is simply rockin'! The soundtrack to one of the most
awesome anime mini-series ever is hard-rocking bass and guitar goodness. The
Pillows, a Japanese rock-group, combining head-banging, edgy punk rock with
some soulful guitar, the garage-band sound here is somewhere between The
Ramones and Nirvana,
which ain't such dusty company. The ever popular "Ride on Shooting
Star" is right there as track 2, but deeper into the album are some of the
more interesting tracks (our fave, track 20, is Naota's "head banging" transformation
Get this, get this, get this is all we can say. Incredible music from an awesome
anime. If this album doesn't get you to air-guitar (and/or drive really, really
fast), then you just aren't an anime fan.