Great, I've been waiting for this thread to pop up.
Last year, there were a few titles I really wanted to program but couldn't because they weren't out yet or there were issues getting permission.Ouran High School Host Club
finally came out on DVD in the states the Tuesday after Anime Banzai
! We were just three days shy of getting this one. I was hoping Funimation would send us a screener copy, but some wires got crossed when I was trying to get that request across and it didn't end up happening. But that just means it's something we can do this year!
The first volume of Darker Than Black
came out a few weeks after the convention. This is a really great action series from Studio Bones, with low-powered super heroes that have OCD tendencies. Winning combination! Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
was one of more impressive anime from 2007, and the first volume got released December of last year. I also believe that it has played on and off again on Adult Swim. Very classy show about a woman warrior named Balsa who becomes a bodyguard for a fugitive prince. It's based off a series off fantasy novels that take place in a setting vaguely reminiscent of ancient Korea.
There were also some ADV titles that I wanted to show, but couldn't get permission for, probably due to the ADV-Sojitz debacle last year.Kurau - Phantom Memory
is one of them. This often overlooked gem, is another work from Studio Bones that I like alot. ADV lost this title and Funimation has it now.
We're long over due for a Makoto Shinkai anime. I wanted to show his newest work 5 Centimeters Per Second,
which runs at about a hour. Really glorious looking. ADV said they couldn't give permission, but I don't think they hold the license anymore.
It's no secret that shounen action series, like Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, etc have always done really well over here. And so Hunter X Hunter
's absence has always seemed rather puzzling. It was a big hit in Japan, the fansubs had a large following, and it's from the mangaka responsible for YuYu Hakusho. About six months ago Viz finally set about rectifying this problem and has been releasing the show in tidy little boxsets. This may not be a brand spanking new show, but its official North American home video release is new, and cause for celebration if you're a fan.
Last time I checked, Ai Yazawa's Nana
was the most popular shoujo series in Japan. I showed the first live action movie last year, and it may be worthwhile to do the second live movie this year. However Viz is finally releasing the anime series later this year (09/08/09) and while I consider myself a fan of the live action movies, the anime series is miles better.
Along with Nana, Viz has been sitting on two other series that Tia and I have been eagerly anticipating: Monster
(:wub:) and Honey & Clover
. No release dates for those two shows yet, but recently Viz announced their intentions to release all three series soon, so hopefully the other two won't be far behind Nana.
Later this year Funimation is putting out a DVD called "Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium OVA Collection
." Its a collection of shorts that were created during the first Fullmetal Alchemist series, and apparently there's a chibi one that's suppose to be really cute and funny. Here's a trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uob1AWD5kIUFinal Fantasy VII: Advent Children
was released on Blu-Ray last week. As if finally getting to seeing poor sad emo Cloud in hi-def wasn't enough, apparently Square went through the trouble of producing an additional 30 minutes for this release
, so now you get more of him! Yay... ? :huh:
While we're on the subject of anime on Blu-Ray...
Mamoru Oshii, one of Japan's most celebrated anime directors, and Production IG came out with an anime movie last year called The Sky Crawlers
. And it was just released over here on DVD/Blu-Ray. Based on a series of lights novels, it's about a war fought by kildren, who are genetically-engineered pilots that don't age, can't grow up and are perpetually about 16 years old. It may not be as flashy or bombastic as the original Ghost in the Shell movie, but I certainly liked it much more then Innocence, his last anime movie. It's a good choice if we want to try and work in some more sophisticated fair.
Next week Sword of the Stranger
comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray. This movie rocks! Ass kicking samurai getting rude, crude, and pokey stabby. As if there was any doubt before, with this movie Studio Bones cements their reputation as Japan's premier production house for creating thrilling and exciting action animation.
It's a very bloody movie, truth be told probably on par with the likes of Ninja Scroll, however unlike that movie the violence in Stranger doesn't feel gratuitous. This isn't a movie that could be shown with the current family friendly restriction in place, but it's a pretty compelling reason to reconsider said restriction.Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone
is licensed by Funimation, who are planning to release it on both DVD and Blu-Ray, but no release date has been set yet. This is also a bit gory in places.
Okay two movies not on Blu-Ray, from the fansub front-
I've often said that Summer Days with Coo
is my favorite anime movie of 2007. The story is about a young Kappa (which are small humanoid turtle like creatures
from Japanese mythology) from the Edo period that was buried alive and found sealed in a rock 200 years later by a boy named Koichi.
It's a little bit Pom Poko, and a little bit E.T., and I don't make those comparisons lightly, it can stand shoulder to shoulder with both of those movies. While it is a family movie, keep in mind that it's a Japanese film, and a very intelligent one at that, so it's a very different beast then your typical Disney cartoon cheese. It's thematically rich, very touching, and doesn't speak down to its audience.Genius Party Beyond
is 2008 anthology film from Studio 4°C. It's a bit similar to The Animatrix and Robot Carnival. I love this type of thing. Anthology works like this are really great at showing the versatile possibilities of anime. I'm a big fan of the guys over at Studio 4c (I did a fan panel on them in 2007 after all), but it's not blind devotion, when they turn out a dud, I call them on it. The first Genius Party film from 2006 had some wonderful bits, but overall I felt it was a weak compilation. Genius Party Beyond is a much stronger work. Don't settle for mediocrity; expand your mind, Genius Party Beyond!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1A6wMf0x8w
Okay I'll keep it bit shorter from here on.
Here's a list of highly anticipated shows that were licensed last year and may see release between now and the convention:
* Soul Eater
- I love this show. The next big thing in shounen action shows? (Funimation)
* Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- The new reboot of FMA (Funimation)
* Slayers Revolution
- New season of Slayers that started up last year(Funimation)
Keroro Gunsou / Sgt. Frog (Funimation)
I don't watch fansubs as much as I use to, but I hang out with alot of anime nerds that consume an alarming amount of the new stuff, and I have sampled many of the most talked about shows from the past year and a half. So here's a list of the coolest, hip new shows that have been fasubbed and aren't currently licensed that I'm aware of:
* Eden of the East
* Michiko to Hatchin
* Casshern Sins
* Ride Back
* Tetsuwan Birdy Decode
* Cross Game
* Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya
* Sengoku Basara
Okay Eric out.