Monday, January 18, 2016

Magazine Monday: Anime Invasion #5 (Winter 2003)

This week we're jumping back into the time machine with our destination set for Winter 2003. Above is the cover for Wizard's Anime Invasion #5. This is something of a unique issue, as it was not only the last quarterly edition of the magazine, but the last time they used the Anime Invasion title. By the next issue, which would bi-monthly from then on, the publication was renamed Anime Insider.

As was the trend with Anime Invasion at the time, this issue had two alternate covers, one with Goku from Dragon Ball Z in his Super Saiyan 3 form, and another with Spike from Cowboy Bebop. I used to pick up all my anime 'zines at Borders and never did I see both covers of a single Anime Invasion/Insider issue, so I'm not sure if certain retailers would only get one cover and others like, say, Barnes and Noble or a comic shop would've had the other cover.

This issue was pretty good. Of course the hot topic for most DBZ fans was the Dragon Ball GT episode guide. Though, I think around then I may have already seen the show (via fansubs), so that wasn't a particularly hot selling point for me.

The real highlight of the issue is Robert Bricken's article, "Behind the Bebop" featuring interviews with  Cowboy Bebop movie director Shinichiro Watanabe, composer Yoko Kanno, and character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto. On a side note, we learn that Kawamoto purchased a Welsh Corgi to help figure out how to animate Ein.

One of the more interesting articles is a one-page piece that provides some then-current industry info about a live-action Akira feature, which never happened (obviously). At the time Stephen Norrington, director of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, was slated to helm the film. Considering how League bombed at the box office, it's not surprising that Norrington never directed again, much less Akira, which would have likely had a huge budget and been a large undertaking for 20th Century Fox (which, by for a number of years, owned the rights). Just as an aside, Norrington did direct Blade, so clearly he was capable of handling a film, but the article talks about how they were already planning on changing certain aspects of Akira to suit the big screen and American audiences (Kaneda and Tetsuo are brothers, etc). Ironically, every few years there's some new mention of a Hollywood Akira film, like   the most recent rumor of Kristen Stewart being attached to the project.

The cover makes a big deal of the "Top 10 Hottest Creators". The list is credible, especially for '03:
10. Yasuhiro Nightow (Trigun)
9. Hiroyuki Kitakubo (Blood: The Last Vampire)
8. Eiichiro Oda (One Piece)
7. Hideaki Anno (Evangelion)
6. Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue)
5. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion)
4. Shoji Kawamori (Macross)
3. Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop)
2. Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2)
1. Hayao Miyazabki (Spirited Away)

"Sailor Moon Uncensored" is pushed on the cover, making one hope for a meaty article about US TV censorship or some risque elements of the Sailor Scouts' adventures. But it's barely a half-page piece on how ADV Films secured the rights for the original Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R TV series and will be releasing them uncut and subtitled on DVD. On the following page there's an interesting write-up titled "The End of VHS?" It promotes the benefits of DVD and how they feature dual language tracks, commentaries, trailers and animated menus. Though there's mention of how Media Blasters and Manga Entertainment were still selling tapes, most other distributors had moved on to the 'new' format and that anime fans should upgrade if they don't want to be left behind.

And, lastly, that "Free Toy Offer" on the cover? It's for a free limited edition translucent Shining Gundam figure if you subscribed to the magazine.

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