In some ways he's just arriving. This fall Voltron will be released uncut on DVD starting with the lion episodes (later on the vehicle ones will come out). This and Robotech were the two shows that originally made me notice anime way back when. I'm curious how much of the original was cut/rewritten.
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April 01, 2006
March 17, 2006
Doctor Who review in NYT
The New York Times has a short review of the new Doctor Who online. Pretty decent.
The familiar blue police box doesn't seem much revamped, either; it appears to run on pneumatic tubes, and there is no sign of a computer on board. The Doctor, on the other hand, almost quivers with energy. In previous regenerations, depending on the actor playing him, this character has variously been crotchety, spacey, avuncular and even a little glamorous. Christopher Eccleston brings a kind of manic blokishness to the part, giving the Doctor a sardonic grin and a working-class Manchester accent. (When another character says, "If you're an alien, how come you sound like you're from the North?" he replies, "Lots of planets have a North.")
This Doctor is a little forgetful and inept, but nevertheless fairly contemptuous of the human beings he has come to save — except for Rose Tyler, a shop girl to whom he takes a completely understandable shine. Rose, played by Billie Piper, a former pop star who used to occupy roughly the same niche in Britain as Britney Spears does here, is not just cute but also quick and inventive. She's much less frightened of lumbering mannequins or boiling plastic than either her vain, slutty mum or her well-meaning but dopey boyfriend, and she even gets the careless Doctor out of a jam.[New York Times]
March 10, 2006
Countdown to Who
With one week left until the start of Doctor Who on the Sci-Fi channel, it seemed like a good time to remind folks to check it out. I just found this article in the NYT from earlier this week talking about the series.
The first episode of Mr. Davies's "Doctor Who," teeming with rapid edits, dark humor, and, for the first time, computer-generated special effects, drew over 10 million viewers, or about 44 percent of the potential viewing audience, something that would translate into a Super Bowl-size audience for an American broadcast. [New York Times]
Having already seen the first season, I can't recommend people check it out enough. Close to everyone I've shown it has enjoyed it, many of them loving it. The show is just plain fun. Here's a quick teaser for the show I found online. The first two episodes show next Friday on SciFi. So program your TiVo or VCR and record it while you're out partying and watch it the next morning.
February 21, 2006
The IT Crowd
I just took in the first three episodes of The IT Crowd, a new comedy on Channel 4 UK. It's about the members of an IT group working in the basement of a large company. It's silly, has many geeky moments, and is pretty damn fun (though it did take an episode or two for me to get into it. The show is from Father Ted creator Graham Linehan and seems to have much of that same kind of feel.
Recommended if you like british comedy shows. You can find it at the usual bittorrent sources.
January 16, 2006
Anime in the News
Yesterday, the New York Times had an article about some of the anime that is currently showing in the US. It's pretty good, though a little bit simplistic. The one thing I liked about it was that it was explaining a little of how these shows are different than the stereotype of what many people think anime is (Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh). The point where I feel the article falls a little flat is in its examples. While I enjoy Naruto, I think Fullmetal Alchemst might have been a better one to go into detail with. My guess is they were went with a show that was on at a watchable time.
It is nice to see some mainstream media coverage of anime that helps to show a bit of why I enjoy the method of storytelling so much.
January 13, 2006
Doctor Who in America
It finally happened. Dr. Who will be hitting the airwaves in the US starting in March. Taking up a slot on the SCI FI Channel's Friday lineup. While the SCI FI Channel has done its share of annoying things, this is a great move for them. Even if they were way too slow with it. This is definitely a show to check out. It starts out a little slow, but quickly gathers speed. Almost everyone I've shown it has enjoyed it.
The only downside is that now the season one DVD release has been pushed back till July.
December 26, 2005
Dr. Who Christmas Special
Not being able to sleep at 5am this morning, I decided to check out the Dr. Who Christmas Special. Overall I give it a thumbs up. The story felt like a kind of typical regeneration story, with David Tennant making his first real appearance as the Doctor. I think he's going to make a pretty good Doctor overall. I won't discuss any of the content so as not to spoiler people, but I do recommend downloading it if you can (along with the children in need special, which you should watch first if you could).
November 04, 2005
After listening to TWiT the other day I felt compelled to check out Tiki Bar TV, Forbidden cocktails in a swank pad. I can't decide if it is genius or incredibly stupid, but I do know I can't stop watching it. You should definitely give the Tiki Bar a visit.
October 24, 2005
Turner Classic Movies and Miyazaki
ICv2 has posted information about a marathon of Miyazaki films on TCM in January 2006.
ICv2 has learned that in January 2006, Turner Classic Movies, a prominent cable and satellite network, will run nine animated features by the great Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki's movies have received scant exposure on American TV so the showings on Turner Classic Movies should expose a wide audience to these masterworks.
A complete list of the films (and airdates) will be released next week, but ICv2 has learned that TCM will show such Miyazaki-directed classics as: Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, and Porco Rosso, as well as Whisper of the Heart, which was directed by Yoshifumi Kondou, though Miyazaki wrote the screenplay, drew the storyboards and produced the film. [ICv2]
I'm pretty psyched. I've wanted to see Whisper of the Heart for a while. I'm also hoping for Kiki's and The Castle of Cagliostro.
To Watch For
On November 6th Cartoon Network starts showing the animated version of The Boondocks. Definitely something to check out. For those of you who aren't familiar with the comic strip, Newsweek has an article about it and the upcoming show.
September 13, 2005
Naruto on Cartoon Network. Thumbs up?
Last saturday Naruto started airing on Cartoon Network's Toonami block of programming. For those of you who aren't anime fans, Naruto is one of the most popular shows to come out of Japan in the last couple of years. Cartoon Network has a really random reputation when it comes to treatment of anime. Sometimes deserved, sometimes not.
Given the above, I was kind nervous tuning in to check it out. I tend not to be a fan of dubbing, but realize that it is the only way that most shows will make it onto TV. In the end, Cartoon Network did a pretty good job. My biggest complaint was 'why bother changing the opening and ending?'. The ones for the show are pretty good as it is (and some of the later ones are great). The voices themselves were okay, I think the VAs may have to grow into them a little, but hopefully that won't take long. Very little editing. One minor thing that bugged me a little was that they edited out nosebleeds. Nosebleeds? They're an anime thing. When a character sees something naughty or has perverted thoughts they tend to get nosebleeds. No, I don't get it either, but I'm used to it.
I've got it programmed into my TiVo as a season pass for now.
August 24, 2005
TV on your phone
Full episodes of cult TV sci-fi show Red Dwarf are being made available for fans to buy and watch on their mobile phone handsets.
The Doctor Who special The Five Doctors, originally screened in 1983, is also part of the licensing deal. [BBC News]
Okay, maybe I'm just a bit picky or something, but I really can't see the enjoyment of watching TV on a cell phone screen. I think the smallest I could go is the PSP screen.
July 22, 2005
You Are On The Global Frequency
After reading about the pilot for a TV show called Global Frequency over on Heath Row's Media Diet my curiosity went into overdrive. I read up about it some on the net and then hunted down a copy of it. One of the best pilot episodes I've seen ever I think.
But what is just as interesting is how this leaked pilot has really generated interest in the show. People are asking "how can we help get this show to TV". The site FrequencySite has coverage of what's going on with it (though they don't suggest you go out and download the show, that would be bad :)). But imagine if a network were smart enough to use this as a way to promote a new show. Especially one that might be a bit of a risk (as this one may be). Then see how strong the feedback is, and they might get an idea of how successful it could be.
Anyways, if you get a chance to see this, definitely check it out. I now kind of hope that it does actually get picked up after all.
Now Playing: Love at First Sight from the album "Black Sea" by XTC
April 03, 2005
Powerpuff Girls Anime!?
I'm still a bit speechless on this one. The images are kind of funky looking. I still can't decide if this will be a good thing or a bad thing.
Powerpuff Girls Anime Announced
Plans for a Powerpuff Girls anime were announced at the Tokyo Animation Fair. A joint venture between Toei Animation, Aniplex, and Cartoon Network, the new project will be tentatively titled "Demashitaa! Powerpuff Girls Z." Posters from the booth can be seen on AV Watch here and here. [via Anime News Network]
December 16, 2004
Oh. My. God.
Okay, someone needs to stop coming up with ideas for reality shows. This is getting ridiculous.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Fox network said Tuesday it will air a special next month, "Who's Your Daddy?", where a daughter given up for adoption as an infant attempts to guess the identity of her birth father for a $100,000 prize.
Activists in the adoption community immediately attacked the special, which will air for 90 minutes on January 3.[cnn.com]
I don't even want to think about what will be next.
November 19, 2004
What I Hate About This Time Of Year
One thing I've been finding lately is that I just don't watch quite as much TV. I blame it partly on the TiVo. I like being able to record something and watch it at a later time. The thing is, this is college basketball season. And since my parents, dad especially, is a UConn Women's Basketball fanatic that takes priority over anything else on TV. Including the one hour of prime time TV that I watch (Joan of Arcadia). I think what is most annoying is that I end up having to watch it in real time, suddenly having to run (er well, my version of run) to the third floor at the last minute. Oh well, at least whining always makes it not seem so bad.
And Joan was good this week. I hadn't gotten to watch last week's until this afternoon and it was a bit harsh to say the least. The show needed and episode that ended up an up note like this. This season has just had quite the dark cloud over it.
Not Getting It
Japanimation Cute, But Strange; UConn Women Open Season
The super cutesy side of Japanese animation, already adapted in cartoons like "Hamtaro" and "Powerpuff Girls" (Cartoon Network, 8:30 and 11 p.m.) gets even closer to the source on the new "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi" (Cartoon Network, 7:30 and 9 p.m.), with its rendering of a popular pop duo as a pair of adorable squibs.
Like a lot of Japanimation, there are some traits that are still tough to figure - chiefly how the mouths inexplicably become two dimensional slabs of baloney when open; and when open very large, routinely exceed the boundaries of the face. [CTnow.com (registration required)]
Um, just because the show is based on people from Japan does not make it Japanese Animation. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is a Cartoon Network original series. As is the Powerpuff Girls. They may be anime influenced, but that's it. Hamtaro is anime, but I still think Hamtaro should end up in a wood chipper one of these days.
Oh, and nobody uses the term 'Japanimation' anymore, that's so 80s.
November 11, 2004
A Sign of the Times?
Worried about FCC sactions; film must run uncut
NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 20 ABC affiliates around the country, including two in Ohio, have announced that they won't take part in the network's Veterans Day airing of "Saving Private Ryan," saying the acclaimed film's violence and language could draw sanctions from the Federal Communications Commission.
The decisions mark a twist in the conflict over the aggressive stand the FCC has taken against obscenity and profanity since Janet Jackson flashed the world during the last Super Bowl halftime show.
Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning movie aired on ABC with relatively little controversy in 2001 and 2002, but station owners -- including several in large markets -- are unnerved that airing it Thursday could bring federal punishment. The film includes a violent depiction of the D-Day invasion and profanity.
"It would clearly have been our preference to run the movie. We think it's a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces," Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, told AP Radio. The company owns three ABC affiliates in the Midwest.
Cole cited recent FCC actions and last week's re-election of President Bush as reasons for replacing "Saving Private Ryan" on Thursday with a music program and the TV movie "Return to Mayberry." [CNN.com]
I don't know about you, but I certainly find "Return to Mayberry" to be much more offensive than "Saving Private Ryan". I really hope this isn't some kind of sign of what TV will be like in the near future.
October 03, 2004
Yay! More Looney Tunes!
I was just looking at Amazon.com and noticed they had a little ad up for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2. I loved the first collection, it was a great start to them releasing many old old cartoons that I hadn't seen in their entirely in ages. This one looks to continue the trend with a lot of early material. And even better, it comes out on my birthday next month (November 2nd)! I've added it to my wish list, anyone wanna pick it up for me?
September 25, 2004
Joan of Arcadia, Season 2
After the season finale of Joan of Arcadia, I really wasn't quite sure what they were going to do this season. So far, I think they're off to a good start. No other real comments at this time to avoid spoilage.