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Anime DVD Reviews
Ikoku Meirou no Croisee
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
Anime Review by Karen Gellender

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Fish-out-of-water stories have a basic problem: they've been done to death. No matter how entertained you may have been the first time you saw a movie or series where someone had to adapt to a strange new world, by this point in your life you've probably seen it before and now it's dull. Oh, this person has to learn to appreciate a different culture, strange food and funny hats? You don't say!

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (also called Croisee in a Foreign Labrynth), a fish-out-of-water story about a young Japanese girl adapting to life in an idyllic version of late 19th-century Paris, gets around this problem in two ways: 1) By having likable characters you really don't mind doing the same old thing with, and 2) displaying absolutely drop-dead gorgeous visuals. Read More...

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

Hanasaku Iroha
Hanasaku Iroha
Anime Review by Karen Gellender

Hanasaku IrohaHanasaku Iroha, a 24-episode coming of age story dealing with the staff and owners of the fictional inn Kissuiso, is a good show with a great show stuck in there somewhere. We enjoyed the exploits of Ohana, the teenaged protagonist, and her friends, but the show really shines when it deals with the elders of the Shijima family: Ohana's mother, Satsuki, and her tough-as-nails grandmother, Sui.

Ohana's journey starts when her devil-may-care mother Satsuki decides to run off with her boyfriend, shipping off Ohana to the traditional hotel run by her family, Kissuiso. Ohana's Grandma Sui, who insists on being called "Madam Manager" even by her family members, seems to have disowned Satsuki and Ohana alike, and insists that Ohana earn her keep as a waitress at Kissuiso. From the beginning, the series seems to be set up as an almost Dickensian drama: the story of the poor, abandoned girl forced to work for a heartless spinster to earn her daily bread.

Hanasaku Iroha

Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Student Council Saga (DVD Boxset)
Revolutionary Girl Utena:
The Student Council Saga

Anime DVD Boxset Review by Karen Gellender

UtenaSome shows are derided as being style over substance, but to make that criticism of Revolutionary Girl Utena is to miss the point: in Utena, the style is the substance. Every aspect of the show, from the highly stylized visuals to the dramatic but lyrically oblique choral music that plays during the action scenes, hints at a deeper message that viewers are invited to parse. It won't be easy to do so, but that's the joy of director Kunihiko Ikuhara's best-known work.

After years in legal limbo, Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment have re-released the series in three gorgeous box sets; we devoured the first one, covering the first twelve episodes and the anime's first arc, The Student Council Saga. With a complete remaster, the series looks and sounds even better than it did in its 1997 run on Japanese television. Read More...


Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Anime Review by Brian Cirulnick

TrigunA new original movie that brings us back to Trigun after what feels like a decade-long hiatus refreshes our taste for the series and the wacky band of characters. Somehow, they've managed to bring back all the voices from the series (or some pretty close representations thereof), and this movie squeezes itself somewhere into the existing-series' continuity.

Clearly created and aimed at the American fans of the series (as the anime doesn't have that large a following Japan), this "movie" is really just a stretched out episode, but that's fine, as you could really call this "Trigun: Episode 10-1/2", but bear with me; despite its 90 minute running time with a 20 minute plot, the film never ceases to be completely entertaining, lavishly animated, stupendously designed and styled, thrilling and awesome. Read More...


Anime and J-pop Music

UN-06 Optimus Prime
UN-06 Optimus Prime Thanks to the live-action film franchise which of course has spawned even more animated series action, Tranformers has lived a long time in the hearts and minds of those of us who drive cars with autobot logos on them. A friend was once denied entrance to a club because his T-shirt bore a decepticon logo, and the bouncer told him "No Decepticons". Yes, this is really the world we live in, where everyone knows them and everyone has known them since the 80's and now we're the ones running the world. Scary. Very, very scary.

With that in mind enjoy this Optimus Prime.

 Anime.com Recommended Books:
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Pretty Guardian
Sailor Moon

Manga Review
by Brian Cirulnick

Sailor MoonWe're taking over this spot to announce that, after years of being out of print, Kodansha has re-issued Naoko Takeuchi's masterpiece Sailor Moon. Originally released in Japan in 1992, Sailor Moon came to the US in 1997 and follows the trials and tribulations of Usagi Tsukino -- a clutzy young girl who transforms into the super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice -- in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. Read More...


Inu Yasha Profiles
Inu Yasha Profiles
Anime Book Review
by Linda Yau

Inu YashaAside from its anime counterpart as a popular manga series, Inu Yasha completed in 56 volumes. If you happen to like this series, how about cementing that fact even more with consulting with Inu Yasha Profiles? It is a comprehensive character and series guide book that reads like a game strategy guide.

For nearly all of the main, supporting and bad characters, there is mention of their biography, battle techniques, strengths and weakness. What motivates characters in aspects of courage, love, friendship or wisdom? Read More...

Inu Yasha

Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations
Dragon Ball: The Complete Illustrations
Anime Book Review
by Linda Yau

DragonballTo not know of this series in terms of its anime and manga success is like living under a rock for the last fifteen or so years. Dragon Ball has been one of the most successful titles in Japan and abroad. There have been 42 volumes of the manga, and as the manga finished its run in 1995, The Completed Illustrations Artbook was published. More than a decade later, the popularity of the series is still immense, so Viz in the United States was able to publish and make available this art book for English readers. Akira Toriyama's popularity was cemented for many anime fans as his work ultimately became a starting point for many anime fans. Read More...


Upcoming Events and Cool Links:
Fanboy.com covered the best of cosplay at the New York Comic Con 2011 — below is a photo from The Cutest Kawaii Cosplay featuring Ashphord “ashi-chan” Jacoway striking a proper cosplay pose:

The Cutest Kawaii Cosplay at New York Comic Con 2011

Of course our favorite photograph from the con was Photobomb Dad Who Doesn't Want You Near Cosplay Daughter:

Photobomb Dad Who Doesn't Want You Near Cosplay Daughter

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