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Anime DVD Reviews
Space Pirate Captain Herlock
Space Pirate Captain Herlock -
The Legend Returns

Kick up your feet, sit back and relax. Get re-acquianted with an old friend. The Leiji Matsumoto time-honored classic Captain Herlock returns to DVD in an exciting new series of adventures, once more bringing together Matsumoto and fellow collaborator Rin Taro.

Captain Herlock and his old crewmates reunite after spending a long period apart, and find themselves facing an ancient evil - one that has been awakened by man's incessant push into deep space. It's guaranteed to be a series you'll want to revisit, over and over again.

Someday's Dreamers
Someday's Dreamers - Volume 1
17 year old country girl Yume Kikuchi is a powerful mage like her mother before her. She's assigned an instructor in the city, the enigmatic, yet handsome Masami Oyamada. As his apprentice, Yume must contend with Mr. Oyamada's curious habits and secretive nature while learning to deal with her new life in the city, while he must contend with her naivete, warmth, spirit and charm. However, the spells she manages to conjure up are way too powerful for the tastes of his harried superiors...

One of the most appealing aspects of the series is how "magic" has been realistically and thoughtfully incorporated into "modern day" life. Those with magical abilities must operate within strict standards of behavior.

It's all done with a refreshing amount of taste, restraint and subtlety. It's Kiki's Delivery Service in modern-day Tokyo and compares favorably to movies like M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs". It's the Harry Potter movies with fashion conscious wizards and feels much like Peter Weir's The Last Wave. Someday's Dreamers is a welcome addition to the fantasy genre.

Spirit Warrior
Spirit Warrior - Regent Of Darkness
Good and evil clash once again in their endless struggle for dominance. The setting this time is the country of Tibet. Kujaku, a young mystic, learns that he has a sorceress sister, named Tomoko. A group of Neo-Nazis, led by a man named Siegfried von Mittgard, plan to use Tomoko to revive an ancient evil that will engulf the world. Kujaku must thwart von Mittguard's plans and save his sister.

The scenery is breathtaking and hypnotic all at once; it pulls you into their world. The animation drowns the senses with its scope and grandeur. The story bristles with tension and a chilling sense of foreboding. It takes a classic struggle and reshapes it into a dynamic, captivating spectacle-a gripping tale that is bound to command your attention. In short, this is a film that will no doubt leave an indelible impression on the viewer.

Witch Hunter Robin - Arrival (Vol. 1)
Witch Hunter Robin - Arrival (Vol. 1)
This is not your average fanboy's anime. It's more like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets La Femme Nikita, with dark, brooding undertones. If you liked Blood: The Last Vampire, then this series is for you - with slick-looking animation and a host of interesting characters.

From the creators of Cowboy Bebop and Argentosoma this limited-edition collector's DVD Box includes a T-Shirt, some cool cards, a shot-glass and the Witch Hunter Robin Original CD Soundtrack.

Firefly - The Complete Series
Firefly - The Complete Series
Joss Whedon rips off Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star and Trigun all at once and makes a live-action series that looks and feels like an anime-series. No episode ends up where you think it will -- for example, there's the traditional sneering villain at the end of an episode who promises to follow the heroes forever... so, the captain kills him instead.

Those kinds of surprises and more await you as you follow this very odd, funny, exciting and extremely cool TV series that was unceremoniously killed by FOX network well before it's time. Watch 3 episodes in a row and you'll be a fan for life. The dialog alone is priceless, and guess what -- for once, there's no sound in space!

Our Favorite Toys, Models and Gizmos
Zoids Liger Zero With Schneider Armor Kit
Zoids Liger Zero With Schneider Armor Kit
It's not quite a model, and it's not quite a toy--it's a ZOID. This snarling Liger Zero seems like a model because you need to snap it together out of the plastic pieces provided, but it's also a toy, because once you've assembled the well-armed beast, it can move around and snap its jaws with motorized, battery-operated action.

Based on the successful animated series (or vice-versa), ZOIDs are very cool and make very attractive office/cubicle decorations. Show your geek-ness and be proud! Recommended Books:
Spirited Away, Vol. 1
Spirited Away, Vol. 1
Hayao Miyazaki's Academy-Award-Winning masterpiece of a movie comes to us this time as a film-comic, which is to say that the actual film frames are printed up and used to create a comic with word balloons. Although these are common in Japan, it's rare that we can find these in America -- and in English, but VIZ Comics has devoted itself to bringing to you as many of Miyazaki's films as it can.

The advantage is that you get to appreciate the depth of detail from this film that you cannot experience when watching the DVD. Even if you've memorized the film, look at the pictures and study the art and craftsmanship in this wonderful five-volume set.

Cowboy Bebop Boxset
Cowboy Bebop Boxset
You already know the animated series is cool. You are aware the music rocks. You're simply nuts about Bebop. Well, complete the collection and own the manga!

This ultra-excellent box-set from Tokyopop contains the complete collection of Cowboy Bebop manga -- drool, pant, gasp! You know it, you love it, you want it. 'Nuff said.

Dynamic Figure Drawing
Dynamic Figure Drawing
Burne Hogarth is the master of drawing the human figure in visually exciting manner. Figure drawing is the most essential (and the most difficult) of all skills for the artist to learn. This book introduces Hogarth's revolutionary system of figure drawing, which makes it possible to visualize and accurately render the forms of the human body from every conceivable point of view.

This is not a "how-to" book for beginners, this is for people who already know anatomy and can draw. With over 300 drawings & diagrams, the author uses a "superhuman" anatomy as the basis to explain foreshortening and other tricks of the trade to make your images come to life with kinetic realism. Understanding these principles is the secret between sub-standard "anime" and kick-ass anime.

Music and Soundtrack Selections:
Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke
Statement of Bias: We think the music for every Miyazaki film is perfect, astounding, beautiful, majestic, and awe-inspiring. Joe Hisaishi is the master of the killer soundtrack and this is no exception. Uplifting, inspirational, and downright beautiful, this is music guaranteed to bring tears of joy to your eyes.

Capturing the flavor of the film, from the lush, velvety feeling of the forest floor to the harder, more mechanical sound for the town, the soundtrack sweeps you into the emotions, characters, and crisis that is the plot of Princess Mononoke.

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