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Anime DVD Reviews
Baccano!: Starter Set (with Volume One)Baccano!: Starter Set (with Volume One)
Anime DVD Review by Brian Cirulnick

Baccano!Initially, you might think Baccano! has no plot, and initially, you'd be correct, but that's not necessarily a bad thing... Baccano! suffers from an overabundance of characters, who all initially seem to be doing their own thing, and it's all unrelated, and you have no freakin' clue what's going on. BUT DON'T SHUT IT OFF!!!

If you told Quentin Tarrintino to craft a movie about immortal alchemist Mafioso's in the 30's, this is probably what you'd get. A focal point? Who needs it? There are plenty of ways to tell a story, but chronological order is for wimps. Who needs a straightforward timeline when it's a heck of a lot more fun to bounce back and forth between 1930, 1931, and 1932? And, if you think you can't tell who's who and what's going on even though you were paying attention, then, well, you *were* paying attention... Read More...

Below: The Japanese trailer for Baccano!

Death Note Box Set 1Death Note Box Set 1
Death Note Box Set 1
Anime DVD Review by Brian Cirulnick

Death NoteI've been following Death Note on Cartoon Network (although it comes on so late, I'm turning into a vampire!) and I must say, it's a very, very complex series because it deals with issues we don't normally touch upon.

What if you had unlimited power over life? Would you do what Light tries to do, make the world a better place by eliminating everyone you deem "bad"? While Light's motives seem altruistic, in truth, he's no better than the people he kills because he sees their deaths as a way to advance his own agenda. Do we root for someone who kills without remorse, who uses the power within the notebook to serve himself? Read More...

Death Note

Zipang: Future Shock, Vol. 1Zipang: Future Shock, Vol. 1
Anime DVD Review by Tim Eldred

ZipangZipang!!! Manga sound effect for a bullet ricocheting off the headband of a Narutard? No! It's the title of one of the coolest shows of the decade!

Many years back I tuned in for the TV broadcast debut of 'The Final Countdown,' a naval war movie with a breathtaking concept: a state-of-the-art warship is inexplicably jutted backward in time to the Pacific theatre of WWII. Once the crew figures this out, they are confronted by one big gutpuncher of a moral dilemma--do they step in to save lives, thereby changing the course of history, or do they invoke the prime directive and watch the horror unfold with the knowledge that they could stop it? Read More...


The Powerpuff Girls: The Complete Series - 10th Anniversary CollectionThe Powerpuff Girls: The Complete Series - 10th Anniversary Collection
The Powerpuff Girls!
Anime DVD Review by Brian Cirulnick

American AnimationHere's why the Powerpuff Girls rule! It's a complete and total parody of everything anime, right down to their enormous eyes, and stylistically, it is downright avant-garde. It's also hysterically hilarious with superb scripts and tongue-firmly-in-cheek. It has one of the coolest villains ever (how can anyone not love Mojo-Jo-jo) and, there's even one episode where every single utterance is a pun on a Beatles song.

Powerpacked with a razor-sharp wit, over-the-top violence, and a tremendous sense of style, The Powerpuff Girls was a breakout hit for Cartoon Network, watched by kids and adults alike. It was also a hit for them in terms of the merchandising, with a line of plush dolls and plenty of other powerful paraphernalia to procure.

Below: The Powerpuff Girls were so popular in Japan that they inspired an anime series.

The Powerpuff Girls were so popular in Japan that they inspired an anime series.

Our Favorite Toys, Models and Gizmos
Samurai 7 Original SoundtrackSamurai 7 Original Soundtrack
Samurai Seven Soundtrack
Anime Soundtrack Review
by Brian Cirulnick

Samurai SevenThe Samurai Seven Soundtrack. Yeah! Say that ten-times-fast, I double dog dare you. I'm still tongue-tied from the Powerpuff Girls review.

While you were busy watching cybernetic baddies get decapitated in the lavish production of Samurai Seven, you might have missed some of the wonderful music throughout the series.
Read More... Recommended Books:
 Bandai Box Art: Shigeru Komatsuzaki
Bandai Box Art:
Shigeru Komatsuzaki

Anime Book Review
by Tim Eldred

Japanese ToysNo matter where they come from, young boys the world over can probably attest to a singular experience when it comes to Japanese model kits: staring at a lurid painting on the box and having all sorts of synapses go ZIP-ZAP-ZANG in your head. (And even, in extreme cases, ZOWIE.) Right there in front of you is a snapshot of how cool the thing inside the box would be if it wasn't made of ultra-cheap dayglo plastic. And that moment right there is what pushes you past the ground-level mediocrity of whatever you could cobble together from the pieces. It's all about imagination, ignited by the alchemy of perfect box art. Read More...

 Bandai Box Art: Shigeru Komatsuzaki

Tarot Cafe, The Volume 1Tarot Cafe, The Volume 1
Tarot Café
Manga Review
by Carolyn Whu

Tarot CaféI have to say I wasn't a fan of this series at first. I started reading the new novel that came out based on the popular manga series; I thought the writing left a lot to be desired. I was falling asleep, skipping pages, checking out another manga, looking at my emails, surfing on the internet for the manga version of Tarot Café, and that was it. The manga version got me hooked immediately and before I knew it, six hours have gone by, I had missed lunch, and my stinky laundry was still sitting by the door waiting to be washed but on the up side, I had finished five stories from Tarot Café. Read More...

Tarot Café

Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of HiroshimaBarefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima
Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1:
A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima

Manga Review
by Brian Cirulnick

Barefoot GenSo, the crummy economy has you down, and life seems a little depressing and hopeless. Well, cheer up it could be worse, after all you could have had an atomic bomb dropped on you.

Not to make light of the terrible tragedy that was WWII and Hiroshima, we're simply trying to point out that things could be worse, and, you need to understand that even in tough times, we can all pull together to try and make the world a better place. Read More...

Barefoot Gen

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