Category “Anime News”

Osiris no Tenbin Premiers This Weekend

Wednesday, 29 July, 2015

Osiris no Tenbin

The Fuji TV on Demand service has announced that its original supernatural suspense anime series Osiris no Tenbin (Balance of Osiris) will premiere at midnight this Saturday. The teaser trailer is officially restricted to viewers located in Japan, perhaps to avoid revealing to the entire world how hideous the show looks. Granted, the story concept about a physically weak professional assassin who relies on his psychokinetic power sounds intriguing. But the awful CG rendered character designs and the even worse animation quality featured in the teaser trailer really make the show look horrifically terrible.

Defective

Mutant

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Miss Hokusai Review Online

Monday, 27 July, 2015

Twitch Film has published a positive review of Production I.G.’s latest historical drama feature film Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai.

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Revisiting World Break

Monday, 13 July, 2015

World_Break_comparison

Motivated by mild curiosity about the difference between last January’s Seiken Tsukai no World Break and last month’s Seiken Tsukai no World Break Retake version, I watched both iterations of the first episode side by side. Apart from a ten second long still frame added to the beginning of the “Retake version,” I noticed only two very small updates applied to the “Retake” rebroadcast. Neither difference seemed worth re-broadcasting or re-watching the episode for.


This still frame lasts for 10 seconds and is the new first shot of “Retake ver.” episode 1.

10_second

In the original broadcast version, Satsuki had two tears streaming from each eye. In “Retake ver.” she now has only one tear streaming from each eye.

World_Break_comparison_1

At the end of the episode, one shot of Moroha depicts him holding his sword in a slightly different stance.

World_Break_comparison_2

I didn’t see any other differences in running length, animation quality, or art design between the original broadcast version & the “Retake version.” Perhaps later episodes include more significant alterations, but the show isn’t good enough to warrant detailed study.

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Saber Marionette Re:Anime

Tuesday, 7 July, 2015

Saber R

So AIC has announced plans to create a new anime based on Hiroshi Negishi and Satoru Akahori’s Saber Marionette light novel series. Does anybody besides me even remember that SM Gals Saber Marionette R OVA series was released a year before the more popular Saber Marionette J television series? The original Saber R has always been my favorite anime entry because of its more stark hybrid of super cute and super grim, very different from the Saber J series that was much less violent and was more conventional & mainstream friendly.

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Most Valuable English Language Manga?

Friday, 19 June, 2015

LWOC_Numbered_GN

Via some Ebay research I just realized yesterday that the hardcover Lone Wolf & Cub volume 1 manga is quite probably the most valuable of all English language manga by a very wide margin. Evidently hardcover copies of Dark Horse’s first graphic novel were a limited retailer incentive and now cost as much as $300. However, 230 copies were hand-numbered and autographed by Kazuo Koike on a bookplate featuring an exclusive illustration by Goseki Kojima. Those 230 numbered copies run $1,200 to $1,300 apiece. Mine is #98. I’ve owned it for 15 years and never realized how valuable it was.

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Gamba Who?

Friday, 12 June, 2015

The first trailer for studio Shirogumi’s full CG Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi (Gamba & Companions) movie has appeared online. The design and animation do look attractive, and I don’t know exactly how faithful this adaptation is to Atsuo Saito’s original novel, but anyone that’s watched any of Osamu Dezaki’s beloved 1975 anime TV series adaptation knows instantly that this isn’t the Gamba no Bouken that we remember. It’s not even close.


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A Few Moments at Metrocon

Friday, 12 June, 2015

Metrocon 2015

Thanks to the friendly folks at St. Pete’s Anime Fix, I had an opportunity to roam this weekend’s Metrocon convention for a few hours yesterday on the first of its four days this year.


Anime Fix at Metrocon 2015 Anime Fix at Metrocon 2015

The second floor of the Tampa Convention Center, outside of the vendors room is the large artists’ alley.

Metrocon 2015 Metrocon 2015 Metrocon 2015

The word I heard was that the first day seemed more successful than anticipated.

Metrocon 2015 Metrocon 2015 Metrocon 2015 Metrocon 2015 Metrocon 2015

I saw a few bargains, compared to typical American prices. I was surprised to see a couple Nendoroid figures priced as low as $30 each.

figures_metrocon_2015

On the other hand, I also spotted a dealer asking $30 for a single Japanese issue of Weekly Shounen Jump magazine.

The first item I found for my own collection was this Lynn Minmei doll gachapon figure for $12.

Minmei doll

Then I found exactly one dealer that had the “giant” Danboard figure. Since I have the big vinyl Yotsuba, I wanted the Danboard to match her. “Big Danbo” was $38.

Big_Danboard_box

My last purchase was this $7 Violinst of Hameln TV series shitajiki.

hameln_shitajiki

Metrocon_2015_program

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2015 Anime Research Survey Now Open

Thursday, 4 June, 2015

Animelogo

The annual “Anime Research” academic poll is open once again. Scholars from Texas A&M University, Niagara County Community College, and Renison University College have collaborated to compose the survey. This year’s questions have been completely renewed to delve deeper into fans’ psychological and sociological engagement with anime and help answer questions raised by fans regarding the results of last year’s survey. The survey is anonymous and should take less than 30 min to complete. Participants are eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Chances of winning are 1 in 200; winner selection will be confidential and not associated with survey responses. The poll will be open from today, June 4, until July 4, 2015.

The results of the 2014 survey are available on the Anime Research homepage.

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Little Witch Academia 2 Teaser Released

Wednesday, 3 June, 2015

Studio Trigger has just released the first trailer for its Kickstarter funded short film Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade. The sequel to the 2013 OVA will get a limited Japanese theatrical release in October after its initial distribution to its 7,938 Kickstarter backers.

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Aquarion Evol Volume 2 Excels

Wednesday, 3 June, 2015

Aquarion Evol 2

While creator Shoujo Kawamori’s Aquarion Evol manga continues to exhibit its quirky defining characteristics, it’s with pleasure that I report that the manga’s second volume improves upon all of the weaknesses of the first book. Uneven pacing and tone, opaque narrative, and obscured battle choreography all plagued the introductory volume of the manga. All of those attributes are addressed and improved in the second book.


The second volume of creator/writer Shoujo Kawamori and illustrator Aogiri’s Aquarion Evol manga expands the cast on the human side and also begins to expand the story’s romantic interests beyond just primary characters Amata Sora & Mikono Suzushiro. As the absent leader of Neo Deava returns to duty, the legendary leader of Altair, Mykage, awakes, and the Altairians focus on Earth becomes more specific and refined. In volume 2, rather than continuing their mass abduction strategy, the Altairians mount two robotic attacks against Neo Deava and one more personal, intimate offensive
specifically targeting the mysterious girl Mikono Suzushiro. In the face of the mounting aggression, Neo Deava decides that shackling the Aquarion robot is no longer an option even while releasing its full capacity could be catastrophic.

The blurring in the image is due to my poor scanning, not the manga.

The blurring in the image is due to my poor scanning, not the manga.

Aquarion Evol is an odd hybrid of dramatic sci-fi action and subtly goofy comedy. While the tonal swings from silly to serious in the first volume felt schizophrenic and abrupt, the merging is smoother and more effective in the second volume. Comedy emerges naturally from character personalities and ironic plot developments like the Neo Deava school deliberately organizing co-ed encounters as a means of teaching hormonal teenagers to restrain their natural impulses, and the rhetorical comparison of Mikono Suzushiro to a donut hole. The definition, or more accurately categorization, by exclusion is technically appropriate yet in context seems laughably maladroit. The second volume is arguably a bit expository, finally explaining the goal of the Altairian incursions and the tragedy of Aquarion that was hinted at throughout the first volume, but expressing so much setting detail without blunt exposition would require extended flashbacks that would fundamentally alter the focus and feel of the story. The biggest weakness of the book remains the framing of the mecha battle scenes. But since the second volume contains fewer, shorter robot fights, the geography of the battles is a bit easier to decipher in the second volume. Like the first book, the second volume again still has a tendency to make big jumps in narrative without clear transitions, but the confusing shifts in narrative are fewer and more obvious, therefore easier to comprehend, in the second book than they were in the first.

Evol2b

One Peace Books’ translation of Aquarion Evol volume 2 contains chapters 5-9 plus three supplemental “4-koma” comic strips. The translation includes two typos and three punctuation errors but is also more natural, organic, and easily comprehensible than the volume 1 translation was. Sound effects are retained in Japanese and translated. The book’s introductory four pages were seemingly published in color in the Japanese version but are reproduced in monochrome for the English release. Printing throughout the book is sharp and clean, suggesting that the manuscript was transferred from quality original elements rather than second-generation scans. The book is pleasantly entirely free of ads although it also lacks even a copyright/printing history page. With the exception of just one blank leaf, the 142-page book is all content. The book is relatively all-ages friendly, containing a few panels of non-graphic nudity and a few usages of the noun “bitch” in proper, if derogatory, linguistic context.

Evol2a

Clearly fans interested exclusively in Aquarion Evol’s mecha battles, free of characterization and story, would be better served to just watch a highlights reel of the anime. But readers that enjoy the Aquarion Evol story, and readers that may have been hesitant about the uneven introductory volume of the manga, can rest easy knowing that the second book is a significant improvement on the weaknesses of the first book. The second volume develops slower but more comprehensively, providing readers with a more complete and in-depth perspective of the story and universe of Aquarion Evol. This second volume also exclusively presents the only existing English language translation of manga chapters 5 onward, progressing past the work done by unofficial fan translators.

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