October 28, 2003

Possibly The Best Giant Robot Show Ever

I just finished watching the final disk of Chikyu Boetai Kigyo Daiguard and I have to give it a big thumbs up. It started off looking looking almost like a slight spoof on other giant robot shows (*cough*Eva). Over the course of the show though, it's shown to have quite a bit more depth than that. The main characters are wonderful, my favorite being Rika, the genius who designs the weapons for Dai-Guard. She's wonderfully insane and is voiced by Shintani Mayumi (who voiced Haruko in FLCL).

The thing that made the show stand out for me though, was that it considered things you normally don't think about in a giant robot type show. One major focus was on the economics of the whole thing. Who pays for fuel? Repairs? What about property damage? There's also lots of interesting storylines to do with the civilian DaiGuard team and the military's team.

What I find interesting is that this show really hasn't gotten much attention. While each release didn't necessarily have me impatiently waiting for its release, when I started watching it I couldn't stop till I finished watching all the episodes on it in one sitting. I think it's one of the more underrated shows out there. Netflix carries it, so give it a try on rental first.

Posted by snooze at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment

October 27, 2003

Read Or Die vs ROD

Last night I watched ep2 of R.O.D. - the TV with my wife. (I've been watching the raw Japanese episodes by myself, and I've seen through ep6, then I'm going back and watching the subtitled versions with Darla to fill in the gaps in my comprehension.)

I finally realized the biggest reason the TV series feels different from the Read Or Die OVA -- it has a purely modern setting, rather than the steampunk setting of the OVA. Granted, there was plenty of modern tech in the OVA as well, with the steampunk aspects mostly employed by the I-jin and the British Library folks; I wonder if that will turn out to be the case in the TV series as well, or if that's just an element they didn't carry through.

Posted by elthar at 02:55 PM | Comments (1) | Post a new comment


If you are observant, you've seen semi-regular comments here from me. I've known Gregory for a number of years online, and a year and some back he seduced me into the modern world of digital fansubs. I've been exposed to anime (without realizing it) since the early 1970s, via Speed Racer and Star Blazers. Then, in college, one of my roommates was heavily into All Things Japanese, with shelves full of manga and countless GIFs of Bubblegum Crisis and the like; I picked up a small amount of knowledge through osmosis. Finally, some years later, I discovered that my wife was watching Sailor Moon on FOX in the morning, and I said, "No, no, let me show you the real thing," and my journey to the Dark Side was complete. Now I've badgered Gregory sufficiently that he's given me posting access here, so you're all doomed.

I'll certainly be offering my thoughts on recent shows, but I will probably venture beyond that as well, looking at some older shows and perhaps at other aspects of anime, manga, fandom, and Japanese culture. I help run an anime con in Denver, and I've studied the language in my Copious Free Time for 8 years or so now, so I flatter myself that I've seen a bit deeper than the surface layer.

(Hm, Movable Type doesn't seem to like Unicode, so I'll use roumaji: Yoroshiku o-negai shimasu.)

Posted by elthar at 01:24 PM | Comments (2) | Post a new comment

Full Metal Alchemist

I just watched the third episode of this and I think it may just become one of my new favorite shows. The first two episodes gave us a taste of the characters. But the third episode dove right into their background, which I found quite well done. I needed another nice fun action show to balance out all the cuteness I'm currently watching. And I want the ending music, because it's cool.

Posted by snooze at 12:27 PM | Comments (4)

October 25, 2003

Shingetsutan Tsukihime


Everybody has been waiting for this one. The game is mostly text with a few static images and no voices, but the story is so compelling it pulls you along. And it's doujinshi! Amazing how doujinshi is rising up to turn into a mainstream product, like Haibane Renmei did.

Since the game's images were so static and sparse, it is very easy for me to be absorbed in the realtime motion and interaction and spoken dialogue that exists in the anime version. It seems to be sticking fairly close to the game's story, with allowances for film-style storytelling versus book-style. It's great to see the characters "alive" like this.

The opening song is reminiscent of Enigma, hee hee. Sneaky, without having to pay licensing or royalties. Ah, Megamisama did a similar thing in their soundtrack. I swear they just lifted songs from Windham Hill's catalogue and tweaked them just enough to be different and royalty-free.

This is one of those shows where I know the story so I'm just enjoying watching how it folds out in another form of storytelling. Shingetsukan Tsukihime Official Site

Posted by izumi at 01:36 PM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment

October 24, 2003

Gunslinger Girl

I don't know what it is about girls with guns but I just love shows like Gunlinger Girl. I would liken it to Noir, Phantom of Inferno, La Femme Nikita, and The Professional. It's about some Italian black ops organization that works for the government (i think) using girls who are enhanced through some kind of implants for assassinations.

The opening song is by The Delgados and it's brilliant. It's on their latest album Hate. I loved the blurb in the opening credits about Gunslinger Girl licensing "The Light Before We Land" from http://www.mantrarecordings.com. I don't know if people notice but i hear and feel a vast improvement when a show uses a "real" song for the opening rather than one written explicitly for a show. For instance "Duvet" for Serial Experiments Lain and "Guardian Angel" for Texhnolyze. Then again maybe most shows just usually go with the lowest bidder or have to use a pre-existing arrangement within the company to tout some flash in the pan band. I also think it's really cool whoever is in charge of Gunslinger Girl took the time to create an ending song in Italian.

Checking out the opening animation, i was wondering if the animation came first or the song selection did. On first glance it seems that any song could be plugged in for the opening, but the Delgados song just works so well.

The show also puts in letterbox bars with an unobtrusive pattern for people with 4:3 TVs. I guess the producers really wanted this show to be in widescreen aspect.

I have seen the first two episodes so far and like how the two episodes go over the same series of events and show different perspectives and details. It's a nice bit of setting and storytelling.

What else can I say? I want some more. http://www.gunslingergirl.com

Posted by izumi at 01:51 PM | Comments (8) | Post a new comment

October 11, 2003

Porco Rosso

Anime News Network reports on the next Miyazaki film for Disney to bring over to the States: Porco Rosso.

Disney's English dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Porco Rosso will premiere next Tuesday, October 14th at the Austin Film Festival. Produced by John Lasseter and directed by Tony Bancroft, the dub features Michael Keaton as Porco Rosso, Cary Elwes as Donald Curtis, Kimberly Williams-Paisleyas Fio, and Susan Egan as Gina. [Nausicaa.net][ via ANN]

I'm pretty psyched. I've got the R2 release of this, but I wouldn't mind having a copy of the dub so that I could share it with my nephew (young kids don't quite get the whole sub vs dub thing :)).

Posted by snooze at 05:49 PM | Comments (3) | Post a new comment

October 09, 2003

For That Killer Clean Feeling

Just what every Noir fan needs: Noir soap. "A true Noir fan won't want to miss out on these cute, super-deformed versions of the main characters encased in glycerin soap!" So I can now clean myself with...? uh, nevermind.

Posted by snooze at 07:47 PM | Comments (3) | Post a new comment

Random Inu-Yasha Thought

Are Kouga and Taz related?

Posted by snooze at 07:35 PM | Comments (2) | Post a new comment

October 08, 2003


It's that time of year again, when a bunch of the current anime shows finish up. I finished up two of them sunday night, DNAngel and Last Exile. DNAngel turned out to be a surprising show. I'd heard of the manga before, but never really read any. The show started off a bit unsteadily, but I really felt things smoothed out a lot by the end. The last two story arcs worked out quite well. I think my one complaint is that it was just a one season show. I got the feeling there was a bit more story that they could have worked with.

Last Exile is definitely in my top ten list for this year. It was one of the tightest shows I've seen in a while. Everything just clicked together perfectly. Story, animation, and music were all amazing. Gonzo really kicked some serious ass this time around. And the amazing part? It's coming out on DVD over here next month. One nice thing about this series is that the world still feels open. I'd actually be really curious to read a prequel to the whole thing. To find out just how things got to the point they were at when the series started. There was a lot we weren't told about that, which is fine, but I have a feeling it could make an interesting series or movie.

Posted by snooze at 03:13 AM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment

October 04, 2003

Mind Breakage

Narutaru has definitely taken the place as one of the most fucked up shows I've ever seen. The show is just so strange and brutal. I just saw episode 11 last night, and am hoping to catch 13 tonight. Episode 12 was also one of the few anime episodes I've seen where I felt really really uncomfortable and kind of queasy while watching.

(Also corrected. Ep 12 was the one that messed with my brain)

Posted by snooze at 02:33 PM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment