August 31, 2004

More Anime Coming Soon to the Big Screen

Wired has a nice article about three anime films making their way to the US in the coming months: Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, Steamboy, and Howl's Moving Castle. I'm pretty psyched about all of them. The trailers for Steamboy and Innocence look stunning, and i am hoping to find a copy of one for Howl's soon.

The Giants of Anime are Coming

In coming months, anime's three most prominent directors will release major films in the US. Oshii's Innocence will hit theaters in September. Soon afterward, Katsuhiro Otomo will debut Steamboy, an Indiana Jones-style adventure that takes place in an alternative Victorian age where turbo unicycles and pressure-powered jetpacks battle for supremacy. Then Hayao Miyazaki will deliver Howl's Moving Castle, about a teenage girl who flees a curse by hiding in a gigantic mechanical castle that prowls about on insectlike legs. In addition, Disney will issue three older Miyazaki films on DVD early next year, two of which have never before been released in the US.

The confluence of these films could finally put anime at center stage in a venue where success so far has been elusive: the box office. Even though Miyazaki's Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animated film in 2003, it didn't pack theaters. But unlike most previous US anime releases, these films have the backing of major studios. DreamWorks is distributing Innocence, Sony is handling Steamboy, and Disney is in line for Howl's Moving Castle. Anime enthusiasts have argued for years that the genre's fractured visions represent the most important cinematic movement since sex, lies, and videotape ushered in a new era of American independent film in 1986. Now multiplexers will have a chance to see what these fans have been talking about. [Wired News]

Of course Innocence doesn't even have viewing dates in CT yet. I hate this state at times, I'll be sure to be watching it up in Boston.

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August 26, 2004

Anime in the News

Two interesting articles on anime related things.

  • An article on The strange but familiar world of a Japanese TV cartoon over at reason online. It's from May and is about Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (One of my personal favorites of the last year or so). The author has some interesting notes on the subject.

    "Depictions of shapely, scantily clad women are standard in Japanese comics and animations, and this series gladly provides them. But the message is subtly subversive: These bodies are literal commodities, shells their inhabitants can exchange if they feel like it. Kusanagi is female only in the sense that she wears female bodies, apparently to complement her favorite watch. No longer the key to identity, gender becomes a convention."

  • An article from about John Ledford, the creator of ADV Films. It tells of how the company got started and is a pretty amazing read. I especially like how Ledford got started by importing Japanese video game systems that weren't available here yet and selling them with an obscene markup.

Posted by snooze at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment

August 18, 2004

DVD Reviews: GetBackers #1

B0002I83RC.01.LZZZZZZZI was at Best Buy over the weekend picked this up. I hadn't realized it was due out this week, so was pretty happy. This was a show I enjoyed on fansubs and was looking forward to. Ban Midou and Ginji Amano, the GetBackers, retrieval agents who will get back anything that you've lost or had stolen. And their success rate is always 100%. The show is a lot of fun and while it starts out being fairly episodic, it slowly works up to having an overall story being told for the first season. This first release contains the first five episodes, which give us their first few missions, and introductions to some characters we'll be seeing throughout the show.

The show has both english and japanese language tracks, with english commentary from the VAs and production staff on the first and last episode on the DVD. I have the one for the last episode playing in the background right now. In general the dub doesn't sound bad, though at times the writing on them confuses me. Like, was it really necessary to translate 'Adieu' to 'Bon Voyage'? Overall the voices are good, Akabane's english VA (Shannon McCormick) being one in particular that I think worked quite well.

ADV did a nice job with this release. Sound and video quality are both great. I'd definitely recommend giving it a look, at least through the first two volumes to see if you like it. There's so much more I'd like to write about, but I'm afraid I'd be giving away spoilers for upcoming stuff.

Posted by snooze at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment

August 17, 2004


Panda-Z has five-minute episodes, with a hard-rock opening, and concerns the battles -- mental and physical -- of a group of robot animals. Silent-movie style, with text placards rather than voices.

Dogtato-kun (Jagainu-kun in Japanese) has 3.5-minute episodes, and it's about cute little animal-vegetable hybrid creatures. A bit similar to Ocha-ken (Tea Dogs).

Pugyuru also clocks in at 3.5 minutes. It's about a girl who gets a maid named Cheko-chan from the Country of Maids; Cheko is short, rubbery, runs on batteries, and her head is prone to popping off. She's friends with an edible yuki-onna and has a squid for a rival. (The folks doing this one put the funny mushrooms on their pizza.)

Posted by elthar at 11:00 AM | Comments (1) | Post a new comment

August 07, 2004

Upcoming Anime DVD Releases

I decided to play around with iCal today and found myself entering all the upcoming anime DVD releases into it (through 9/7/2004) based on the information at I published it so that it can be viewed via the web or icon_ical_small subscribed to in iCal (I think Mozilla Calendar lets you do this also, but I'm not sure).

I'll try and keep this updated with around a month's worth of information.

Posted by snooze at 07:02 PM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment

August 02, 2004


DearS1A race of beautiful aliens called DearS have been stranded on Earth. And they've started going to Japanese schools to learn more about Earth's culture. And of course, the one guy at school who doesn't like/trust them ends up finding one on the way home one day. He's got a teacher who seems to be sex crazed who can't keep her clothes on. And hints of something strange going on with the aliens. Overall, I enjoy the show, even if it is a bit too warped at times. And, it has one of the best SD endings ever. I'll keep watching it for a bit, just to see where it ends up. (More pics are available over on JASCII)

Posted by snooze at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | Post a new comment