Friday, August 5, 2016

AMV Videos!

I've always been an AMV fan but, despite having more than a passing interest in video editing, never got around to making my own...until 2014.

I ended up putting together two videos, the first, titled "Mighty Wings of Macross" is below.

And then I did another, with an equally strong '80s vibe, featuring classic anime like Bubblegum Crisis, the original Dirty Pair, Mezzo Forte, Kite, Armitage III, Gunsmith Cats, Cowboy Bebop, and Iria: The Animation. Check 'em out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Dragon Ball Z Arrival

This was the first Dragon Ball Z VHS to be released in the North America via FUNimation and Pioneer. The first several episodes were compiled into an 80 minute feature. This release is really the bridge between the prior Dragon Ball series and what would come later in Z

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Speed Racer VHS

In 1990 VidAmerica, Inc. started to release episodes of Speed Racer onto VHS. These were back in the days of one-episode-per-tape.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Shameless self-promotion time!

I haven't published a new blog post in around a week as I've been a bit busy working on a few other projects. What are these projects, you ask? Webcomics! So get ready for some shameless self-promotion as I tell you about these wonderful projects that you'll surely want to read (I hope).

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Manga Video DVDs

With ADV Films, Funimation, Bandai, and all the other anime distributors of the early '00s, it's sometimes easy to forget what a great anime catalog Manga Video had. Despite many of these titles being re-released in recent years, I've still kept a number of the original Manga Video DVD releases, including Castle of Cagliostro, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll (the 10th anniversary edition), Perfect Blue, Blood: The Last Vampire, and both of the Evangelion films.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Lensman Laserdisc

Something of a forgotten anime release, here is the Lensman laserdisc from Streamline Pictures. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Robotech Comic Mini-Series (WildStorm)

Harmony Gold partnered with comic publisher WildStorm in 2002 to release a six-issue Robotech mini-series (not counting a special issue #0), titled From the Stars. The series served as a prequel to the anime, but not only contradicted parts of the show, it also retconned elements of the fan-favorite Jack McKinney Robotech novels. WildStorm followed the series up with several other Robotech comics, the most worthwhile being the 2003 Robotech Sourcebook, covering all the main characters and mecha.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: GunBuster & Dangaio VHS

They say everything comes with a price, and anime fans were well aware of the price back in the  '90s. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Tenchi Muyo! Book of Earth Laserdisc Set

And here is the Tenchi Muyo! "Book of Earth" LD set, which contains episode 8-13 of the original OVA, along with the Mihoshi Special. Also, included are two pretty neat special features, a video picture book titled, "Here Comes Jurai 2" and an interview with the voice talent.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday! Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden

In 2002 Pioneer released six DVD volumes of Mahoromatic: Automatic Maid. In 2007 a complete edition was released by Section23/Sentai, titled Mahoromatic: Full Metal Maid, and another box set arrived in 2012, titled Mahoromatic Ultimate Collection.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday! Lupin the 3rd: Treasure of the Sorcerer King

Lupin the 3rd: Treasure of the Sorcerer King for the PlayStation 2 holds the distinction of being the only Lupin game ever released in North America. This third-person stealth game allowed the player to don various disguises and continually elude Inspector Zenigata, along with (albeit briefly) playing as Jigen and Goemon. Although suffering from a bit of clunky gameplay, fans of Lupin the 3rd will still find enough to enjoy about this one (a used copy in decent condition will run under $20, and is well worth it).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Anime Statues

A 2007 magazine ad for Entertainment Earth's then-current selection of anime statues, which included Masane Amaha from Witchblade, Persona 3's Mitsuru Kirijyo, and original characters, Shoko-San (from Shunya Yamashita), and Lucia (from Mitsumi Misato).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Manga Monday: Gundam The Origin

Gundam The Origin is a retelling of the original 1979 anime with a new spin. While the overall manga adheres follows Mobile Suit Gundam, there are noticeable changes, mostly altering when and where certain battles occurred, along with exploring several character's backstory with more depth, particularly Char Aznable's childhood.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Review: The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair (Novel)

Dirty Pair is best remembered today for its numerous anime incarnations but, prior to appearing on the screen, Kei and Yuri were first brought to life in the pages of Haruka Takachiho's light novel series.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Gantz Perfect Score Collection

Okay, I'm a sucker for unique DVD packaging and in 2007 ADV Films released the complete series of Gantz in an orb-shaped box set, dubbed the "Perfect Score Collection." I never picked up this particular edition myself, due to a number of reviews complaining about the cheap quality of the packaging...which is a shame, because this is surely one of the more interesting anime-related DVD sets out there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Variable Geo VHS

Variable Geo started out as a fighting game in 1993, spawning various sequels on various home computers, along with iterations on the Super Famicom, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation. In 1996 Variable Geo was adapted into a three-episode OVA, which ADV Films released on VHS in 1999.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: FHE Anime Tapes

This vintage 1989 advertisement is an eye-opening reminder of just how much anime used to cost. Released under FHE's (Family Home Entertainment) "Just For Kids" Home Video banner, these tapes were going for $29.95 a pop. Fortunately, the advertisement offered a buy-two-get-one-free deal. Just For Kids released some fairly atrocious English-dubs, but even the dialogue was nothing compared to how much they butchered the films via editing and undue censorship. 

Available at the time were: Battle for Moon Station DallosClash of the Bionoids (the original Macross movie), Defenders of the VortexLocke the SuperpowerSpace Firebird, Techno PoliceSpace Warriors - Battle for Earth Station S-1.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Gunsmith Cats Manga

Dark Horse published the Gunsmith Cats manga in single issue format between 1995 and 2001, then later collected in a series on nine trade paperbacks. In 2007 these were re-released in four "Revised Edition" omnibus volumes with extra artwork. A sequel, Gunsmith Cats Burst, was also handled by Dark Horse, hitting shelves back in 2007.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: R.O.D. The TV

A spin-off of the 2001 anime OVA, Read or Die, this 26-episode series was originally released in the USA on DVD by Geneon between 2004 and 2005. Aniplex later picked up distribution rights and re-released the series on blu-ray in 2010. As seen in this magazine advertisement, Geneon offered the first volume in a limited edition format, available in a book-style faux-leather cover.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Magazine Monday: Comics Scene #12 (April 1990)

Instead of posting the usual anime-themed magazine, this week I decided on Comics Scene #12, which boasted such lively cover text as "Japanimation!" and "Lensman and Akira Invade!" Back in 1990 anime hadn't yet achieved the status in North America that it holds now, so it was an interesting time capsule to go back to this issue, some twenty-six years ago.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Review! "It's Over 9,000!" When Worldviews Collide

It’s a safe bet that anyone remotely acquainted with Japanese manga or anime is familiar with the name Dragon Ball Z. For over two decades the franchise has been an undeniable phenomenon and marketing juggernaut, one that still draws in fans the world over. Its unequaled staying power continues to spawn countless DVD and Blu-ray releases, video games, apparel, toys, and – most recently – a brand-new anime in Japan, Dragon Ball Super.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Dirty Pair Flash

We're taking a trip waaay back with this ad, before the DVD era and when dubbed VHS (which included only 2 or 3 episodes per tape) sold for $19.98, while subbed copies went for $29.95. I believe I still have a few Dirty Pair Flash tapes in the basement that I'll have to dig out and scan. I've included a few more of ADV Film's Dirty Pair ads below the jump.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Astro Boy Vol. 1 VHS

In 1993 Right Stuf released a series of video tapes to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the original 1960s Astro Boy series. The initial volume contained two episodes, "Vampire Vale" (episode 55) and "Phoenix Bird" (episode 99).

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday! Robotech: The Macross Saga

ADV Films released no shortage of Robotech DVDs. First there were the single DVD volumes, then the Legacy Collection, followed by the Remastered editions, and later on the complete Protoculture Collection. The version advertised here is the complete thirty-six episode Macross Saga in one six-disc package, released in 2002. ADV gets bonus points for using the 1985 Ben Cooper Halloween costume in the ad. Talk about real vintage cosplay!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Najica Blitz Tactics

ADV Films may have released one of the most unique DVD "collector's edition" bundles with Najica Blitz Tactics. While this ad promotes the second DVD release, it makes mention of Volume 1, which included an art box and limited edition panties! Najica was a series notorious for its constant panty-view camera shots and gratuitous fan service (made by the same studio responsible for the very similar Agent Aika), so the inclusion of panties is, seemingly, a fitting bonus.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Gigantor DVD Box Set

In 2002 Rhino Home Video gave Gigantor his due with the release of the series' first 26 episodes on DVD. Rhino boasted that the show was given a new digital transfer and the set featured several worthy extras, including commentaries and interviews. A second box set, with episodes 27-52, arrived on DVD a year later. Both sets eventually went out-of-print, until E1 Entertainment released the show on DVD again, in 2009.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Magazine Monday: Anime Insider #6 (April 2003)

This Monday I unearthed Anime Insider #6, buried deep in the collection, from April 2003. This issue bears the distinction of being the first with the Anime Insider moniker, which had previously been Anime Invasion. This also marked their change from quarterly publication to bi-monthly.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Review: Rosario + Vampire

When Tsukune fails the high school entrance exam his academic future looks bleak; fortunately, despite his lacking grades, he’s accepted into Yokai Academy – a strange out-of-the-way school he’s never heard of. And there’s a reason for it…Yokai Academy is a school for monsters! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: InuYasha Movie 2

This advertisement promised customers that with the $24.98 purchase price of InuYasha: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass DVD, they'd get an exclusive trading card. But, on the bottom of the ad, in 'squint-real-hard-and-you'll see it text,' it reads: "While supplies last. Limited to first 50,000 copies." So, if you were one of those lucky 50,000, you likely received an InuYasha trading card. I did when I picked my copy up at Best Buy back in the day, but the card certainly wasn't anything special. However, for the third InuYasha movie Best Buy had a great exclusive going on, where early copies came with a free CD soundtrack from the film. I picked a copy up the Tuesday it hit shelves and still have the CD, which was included inside the DVD case, packaged in its own cardboard sleeve.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Girls Bravo

Geneon Entertainment started releasing the Girls Bravo series onto DVD in 2004. The final DVD, volume 6, came out in 2006. By 2010 Funimation took over the license and have since released a box set, containing all 24 episodes, under their affordable "S.A.V.E." label.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Wolf's Rain

Wolf's Rain was a show I had a hard time getting into when it first aired on Cartoon Network. One day I'll have to get around to watching it again with a fresh start and see if I feel differently. True to the advertisement's promise, the first volume of the series did indeed come out in 2004. Boasting five episodes (later volumes only included four), it was offered in both standard DVD format and a limited version with artbox, CD soundtrack, and a Kiba plushie.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Trigun Maximum

In 2004 Dark Horse Comics licensed and translated Yasuhiro Nightow's Trigun Maximum manga. The series lasted 14 volumes, with the final one released in 2009. Dark Horse was noticeably less flashy when promoting their manga than TokyoPop or Viz, evident from this advertisement. Whereas TokyoPop or even ADV would incorporate witty or catchy taglines on their print ads, Dark Horse opted for the awkward tag (likely transliterated directly from Japanese): "Deep space planet future gun action!!"

Monday, May 9, 2016

Manga Monday: Ghost in the Shell (Dark Horse Comics)

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell manga has reached an iconic status. Though, considering Shirow's masterwork was released in the US during the mid-'90s, it should come as no surprise that it had a bit of a troubled publication history in the West.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Review: InuYasha The Final Act


It’s undeniable that both the InuYasha manga and anime have a rabid following in Japan. With Adult Swim’s English dubbed broadcast of the anime between 2002 and 2006, which proved to be a hit in North America, InuYasha had continued to enthrall audiences the world over. Sadly, when the original 167 episode anime series came to an end, there was little closure to the show, leaving many to only guess at the main cast of characters’ fate (unless they read the manga).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Xenosaga Episode 1

A print ad for Namco's Xenosaga Episode 1, under PlayStation 2's "Greatest Hits" banner (and at a low retail price of only $19.95!). The original game was released in Japan in 2002, while American gamers would have to wait until 2003 to get their hands on it. The "Greatest Hits" edition hit shelves a year later, in '04.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wasteland Wednesday: Kimagure Orange Road OVA Series VHS

This week I'm posting pics of my Kimagure Orange Road VHS collection. These were of the KOR OVA series, released in North America by AnimEgo in 1992. The tapes were available subtitled-only, and each came in oversized black plastic cases. I'm a big fan of the artwork in KOR, and I really like that AnimEgo featured some fantastic art on both the front and back of each VHS cover.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Ninja Scroll 10th Anniversary DVD

Available in 2003, Manga Video's 10th Anniversary DVD release of Ninja Scroll was loaded with extras. Aside from the remastered picture and 6.1 DTS surround sound, it featured an interview with the director, a photo galley, the history of Jubei, and more. The DVD also came in a fold-out digi-pack and included an anniversary poster. Sentai Filmworks re-released the film on Blu-ray and DVD in 2015 with a brand-new HD remaster and enhanced sound, but lacked the special features from Manga Video's DVD.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gameday Sunday: Battle Stadium D.O.N. (GameCube/PS2)

Released for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 in 2006, Battle Stadium D.O.N. is best described as Super Smash Bros. with characters from Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Naruto. The gameplay is nearly identical, the maps have similar 'out-of-bound' areas, and each character has a special move. With that said, Battle Stadium D.O.N. is a heck of a fun game, especially for fans of these franchises.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: School Rumble

A print ad for volume 3 of School Rumble on DVD, due out in stores on October 2nd, 2007. Among the special features that Funimation promoted, which included interviews, textless songs, and trailers, the DVD also came with a magnet sheet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Witch Hunter Robin Pendant

Back in 2003 fans of Witch Hunter Robin could purchase a STN-J Orbo pendant from Asylum Anime for $35. For those who don't remember, Orbo was created from the blood of witches and used in bullets and necklaces to combat the witch threat. Out of curiosity, I did a quick Google search to see if Asylum Anime was still around, and indeed they are...though likely not selling any Witch Hunter Robin merchandise anymore.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Manga Monday: Cowboy Bebop Vol. 1 (TokyoPop)

The Cowboy Bebop manga was released in 2002 by TokyoPop and followed the "further adventures" of the Bebop cast. The manga lasted three volumes, written by Hajime Yatate and illustrated by Yutaka Nanten.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya


This week we look back on the hit anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday: Azumanga Daioh The Animation

Azumanga Daioh started out as a four-panel comedy manga in 1999, but would go on to receive the anime treatment three years later. ADV Films released the series in 2005, with 26 episodes spread out over six volumes. Volume 1 was also available in a "Collector's Edition," which included two character-themed lapel pins. ADV later repackaged the show for a "thinpak" box set in '08. Most recently, Sentai Filmworks licensed the show with plans to make it available sometime in 2016.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Bizarre World of Bootlegs: Dragon Ball Z VCDs

Here are a couple images of some bootleg Dragon Ball Z VCDs. These are of the 6th and 13th movies, titled here as Attack! 1,000,000 Power Warriors and Thunder Dragon Fist. Movie #13 has decent subs, but whoever subtitled #6 took some liberties, as the subs have Vegeta repeatedly cursing like a sailor.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: G Gundam Model Kits

"Heroes Are Made, Not Born," was the header for this 2003 advertisement promoting Bandai's G Gundam line of plastic model kits. I had a few of these and they were always a blast to put together. On average, they didn't take too long to build, required no glue or paint (since the plastic pieces were already colored) and most included decals to give the mobile suits extra detail. The joints allowed for some nice action-style poses as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Throwback Ad Thursday! Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross

Super Dimensional Cavalry: Southern Cross is best known in North America for being used as the second Robotech story-arc, dubbed the Masters Saga. In 2003 ADV Films released all 23 uncut episodes of the Southern Cross series on a single DVD box set with the original Japanese audio and English subs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Throwback Ad Tuesday: Yu Yu Hakusho Trading Card Game

I never got into any of the anime-based trading card games, but they were certainly popular enough for Score Entertainment to release a slew of them, including Dragon Ball Z, InuYasha, Sonic X, Case Closed, Fruits Basket, and Bleach themed sets. Between 2003 and 2005 Score produced Yu Yu Hakusho cards, which Inquest Gamer Magazine rated the "Best Trading Card Game of 2003." They garnered a large enough following that one of the rarest cards in the series sold for over $1,000 on eBay.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Manga: Bat-Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan


More than any other superhero, Batman is the most diverse in his many incarnations. Whether it's the dark, brooding Dark Knight, or the Gothic guardian of Gotham, to the campy caped crusader of the '60s TV series, Batman has seen it all. But most fans haven't seen him in Japan! This week I'm digging into the quirky, but fun, pages of the Batman manga...