- Vol. 1 - New Feathers
Rakka awoke from unsound dreams to discover that she had
turned into an angel (known as Haibane). She discovers that all
the Haibane seem to be female, and co-exist with the larger human
population peacefully, however what the world is like beyond the
walled town they all inhabit is unknown. The strange, masked beings
that live in the adjoining woods, the Toga, might offer a clue.
are not, however, permitted to speak.
Haibane-Renmei is the creation of Yoshitoshi
ABe, character designer for Serial
Experiments Lain, and inspiration for Niea
Under 7. This fantasy series is like a combination of The
Prisoner and The Flying Nun, but actually it's a deliberately paced meditation
on loss, loneliness, sin and redemption. It's a gorgeous animated tone poem with
an old European look not unlike Kiki's
Delivery Service. It sports a soothing
musical score that makes it a treat for the eye,
ear and mind.
- Beyond the Grave (Vol. 1)
From the creator of Trigun comes
this revenge tale of an undead mobster (no that's not a typo!) in a run-down,
half-abandoned city. The main character is brought back to life to kill Bloody
Harry -- the mob's boss, and his former best friend. This incredibly slick looking
series features a killer
soundtrack by Tsuneo
Imahori, and enough violence to satisfy even the most hard-boiled.
Oh, did we mention that the mob uses wacky-looking monsters as well as guys in
black suits with machine guns? And sometimes, one is the other? Transformations
are reminiscent of Wicked
City, (as well as Brandon's big damn gun)! The episodes jump around from
the present, where he's undead, to the past, where you get to see what led the
character to where he is now. Cowboy
Bebop alumni add to the ambience by providing voices. In all, the series
promises and delivers.
Spirit - The First Step
16 yr. old Ippo Makunouchi uses all his spare time to help his mom and the family
business. He is a good worker and obedient son. However, he is often picked on
by bullies from school and most of the time gets beaten up. During one beating,
he is rescued by Takamura, a professional boxer. Takamura shows Ippo a couple
of steps and when Ippo launches his first punch to the punching bag he burns
with desire to learn how to box. He passes one of Takamura's tests and Takamura
has no choice but to train the kid.
Shades of Ashita No Joe! Fighting
Spirit is a very nice mix of Rocky and The
Karate Kid. The episodes have a good level of story line and humor. The characters
are all likable and the animation is superb. As the title claims, the characters
are normal people and no one has super human powers - just strong human will
and determination. The soundtrack is excellent, especially the opening theme.
Yatsura Movie 1: Only You
Many years ago, someone cornered us at a NYC Cartoon
Fantasy Organization meeting and said "watch this, you're going to like
it." That may have been the understatement of the century. "Only You" was
a mind-blowing experience, a comedy anime movie that was sweet and touching,
an action film that was hilarious, and a romance film that was a revenge flick.
You do need to be familiar with the Urusei
Yatsura cast of characters to really understand all that's happening, regardless,
the wacky action of an all-out intergalactic war over who's going to marry Ataru
Moroboshi first makes for a great movie at any rate!
This is actually the easiest plotline to follow of all the UY movies -- Beautiful
Dreamer, although easily the best of the films, is like a Escher painting
on crack by comparison. The later
films rely too heavily on intimate knowledge of all the characters to be
coherent. If you're looking for a crash course in Urusei
Yatsura, this is the place to start -- Only You is a marvelous, funny, and
ultimately tender rhapsody of star-crossed love. Darling no BAKA!
No, this is not the Tezuka
Manga, or the related Rin
Taro/Otomo opus. This is the inspiration for them all - the greatest silent
movie ever made, and certainly one of the best films of all time. There's not
a Sci-fi film or anime that doesn't pay tribute to Metropolis in some way. And,
while you might have seen it before, never like this -- this is a digitally restored
version, with scenes that were re-inserted after an exhaustive search through
archives -- containing bits and pieces of the film that never even made it into
initial US release almost 80 years ago!
Throw away those public-domain scratchy and blurred prints and grab this DVD.
After viewing this, you'll understand the influences in other films, from the
Runner to the dehumanizing-effect-of-technology theme prevalent throughout Galaxy
Express. It all started with this single expressionistic
Tilden used to build his own subtitling equipment to do
fan-titled anime back in the days of Tomobiki-net. Now he's
involved with projects to build semi-sentient robotic devices
and one of the offshoots of this research is a toy robot that's
much smarter than you would expect considering the price.
Features include real, multi-speed fast dynamic walking, running and turning;
fast, full function arms with two types of grippers; 67 pre-programmed functions
including pick-up, throw, kick, sweep, dance, fart, belch, rap, and half a dozen
kung-fu moves. Robosapien speaks fluent international "caveman". Programmable "reflexes" to
touch, pickup, kicks or sound; and up to 84 program steps, with 4 program modes
for advanced operations. No computer required, all functions handled by an ergonomic
remote control which runs on
regular batteries for over 6 hours.
Fred Gallagher's rather brilliant web
comic is available as two
Successfully combining anime, computers, gaming, "l33t speak", and
a convoluted plot that is simply hysterical, this American manga weaves a clever
but wacky cast of characters against an ongoing pattern of bad luck. Stranded
in Tokyo with no money, no place to live, and no way to get back home, our heroes
to make-do and even achieve greatness.
Although the art quality varies from strip to strip (depending upon deadlines
and other factors), the art is dead-on in terms of the character's expressions.
The unfinished look, with lots of pencils lines still showing, has a charm that
few traditional manga can touch. And the books contain many images never seen
in the web comic - this alone makes it worth the price. Plus, you can enjoy it
offline - a great read while you're sitting in the airport, awaiting your flight
Syd Mead is the god of futuristic look and feel. His concept sketches and paintings
have influenced everything from your car to
your toaster, and his brilliance has been used by Hollywood in films such as Tron, Blade
Runner, 2010, Aliens,
and more. The Japanese are crazy about his work, employing him to design everything
from Next Generation Yamatos to New Type Gundams.
Sentury is a book filled with his concept work. While it doesn't cover some of
his more high-profile movie work, it does offer a glimpse into his mind, as the
rougher concept art gives you a much better feel for how he does his magic. If
you're looking for his pretty paintings (and they are to die for),
check out Oblagon,
which also features his work for Star
Trek: The Motion Picture.
Best Of Godzilla 1954-1975|
How could you go wrong with a selection of the very best of Godzilla music? this
monstrously awesome CD is the original Toho scores, as created by talented composer Akira
Ifukube, in all their mono glory! With a whopping 43 tracks of stuff, there's
no shortage of music, and musical styles as the decades crawl past you while
the Big Green Guy does his traditional Tokyo
back to the day of Saturday morning monster slugfests on
TV. But what makes this
CD extra special is the never to be topped "Mothra's
Song," complete with lyrics for same (in THREE languages!) in the liner
notes. This CD is a treasure trove of some of the finest movie music ever made
- and you'll see
Hollywood composers get their ideas!
Game Music Best Collection
You've watched the series
on Cartoon Network.
You've read the manga.
You've played the
game for the PS2, but, throughout the game, you struggled to listen to the
music though the sound effects. Struggle no longer! .hack//SIGN Game Music Best
Collection contains most of the best bits (pun definitely intended) from the
game. The music is ethereal and light listening, but the overall experience is
pleasant. Listening again to the music helps us recall many exciting moments
from the game.
If this whets your appetite for more from this wonderful series, we suggest you
check out the other
soundtracks from the show. If you're gonna be trapped in a virtual world,
it's good to know that at least you've got a good soundtrack.