Anime Today #23: Tsubasa Review and Midori Days

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Episode run down:

Kicking us off today are the hot picks in upcoming anime and manga followed by another installment of Uso Deshou.  Have you ever wondered what all goes into creating the commentary tracks on your favorite dvds?  The production teams sits down next to give us the scoop.  For her review today, Lisa Marie gives her opinion on Clamp’s emotionally charged crossover title, Tsubasa. But first, we’ll hear from “He who will drain your wallet,” the Dark Lord Kleckner. Looking for the perfect gift to honor your friends in Japan?  Kris and Judy discuss gift giving etiquette and the unique tradition of giving fruit.  Then Rich and I bring you the latest contest info followed by Judy-sensei’s quick lesson on exchanging gifts in today’s Mini Japanese 101 lesson.  Finally, David and Judy respond to a listener question about how the theme songs are chosen by the Japanese studios.

What's Hot?

Sora is a young, energetic boy looking forward to exploring the world with his friends Riku and Kairi. The threesome is working hard on completing a raft that will allow them to leave their island, but one day a mysterious force causes Sora to gain a special weapon known as the Keyblade.  Meanwhile, Donald and Goofy leave their castle to search for the king and the chosen one who holds the "key" to saving the world.  On October 10th, join Sora, Donald and Goofy with the Kingdom Hearts Graphic Novel Set containing the first four volumes and a collectible bookmark and poster.

Hot on the heels of this first best-selling manga series, the new Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories takes you through the story from the PS2 game.  Pick up the first graphic novel on October 10th and read how Sora, Donald and Goofy realize their magic and skills have been completely stripped away!

As with all young children, the young heroines of Strawberry Marshmallow become concerned with various things in their life such as dieting, hypnotism, and Santa Claus.  On October 3rd, the only difference is that Miu tends to add a little something out of the ordinary to make things "interesting"...  in Strawberry Marshmallow DVD 3!

Seiji "Mad Dog" Sawamura is the ultimate high-school punk.  With his super-strong invincible right hand, he can punch through cement walls or entire street gangs.  As for how he got his right hand that strong... well, he's got some problems getting a girlfriend. It's probably because every girl in the school is absolutely terrified of him.  Just when he thinks his only girlfriend will be his right hand, his right hand becomes an actual girl!  Midori Kasunago wished she could be by Seiji's side, and ends up attached to his wrist.  Seiji's fighting days may be over, but his girl trouble is just beginning all over again on October 10th with the Midori Days Handheld Collection containing all 13 episodes!

While riding the train one night, a lonely otaku finds the courage to save a beautiful girl from a drunken harasser.  But when she sends him a letter of heartfelt thanks, all his bravery disappears!  Not sure what to do next, he turns to an internet message board for help using the nickname “Train Man.”  Based on the true story that melted hearts all over Japan, grab a copy of the first graphic novel of Densha Otoko on October 11th!

Being a god is a lot of hard work.  On October 17th, Yurie must find the time to communicate with an old war-vessel, run for student office locate Matsuri's missing little sister.  With her hands already full, she is then requested to attend a god convention in order to learn more about her godly responsibilities.  Yurie's got her work cut out for her if she wants to become a respectable god, but will she be OK out on her own, far away from her friends?  Find out in Discovery, the 3rd DVD of Kamichu!

Suspecting that Johan suffers from a multiple-personality disorder, Dr. Tenma calls upon expert criminal psychologist Rudy Gillen to help him in his campaign to stop Johan.  On October 17th, will Dr. Gillen come to the same conclusion as the authorities and see that Tenma is the killer with the split personality in the 5th graphic novel of Monster?

Finally on October 17th, the elder disciples of the Yoshioka Dojo realize that their leader is no match for Musashi.  Devising a dishonorable plan, they hire Sasaki Kojiro, a deaf-mute swordsman with a reputation as fierce as Musashi's, to fight their battle for them. Thus begins the saga of the greatest duel in Japanese history in the 23rd graphic novel of Vagabond!

Get 25% off these great preorders and more from RightStuf.com at least 10 days before their release dates.  Add an additional 10% in savings by joining the Got Anime purchasing club for Frequent Buyers.

Check out the PREORDERS and the Got Anime? Purchasing Club!

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan with Kris and Judy

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan

Shawne's Specials

Geneon's Bountiful Bargains!

I think everyone here on the staff thinks that I’ve finally lost it. I wanted to have some great deals this week and I just couldn’t wait until Thursday - so I started a new sale on Monday. And it’s probably the sweetest deal you may see this season! Until October 1st, you can buy blocks of select Geneon DVD, CD, and UMD releases for prices you just can’t pass up - choose from a wide group of items and save unheard of sums during this sale!

There’s two options available for you: first, you can get 10 great Geneon releases for only $50 OR you can get 25 select Geneon releases for $100! You don't even have to work the numbers to see how much you can save! Plus, don't forget that both offers will net you free economy shipping in both the US and Canada!

For this sale, there are two different coupon codes. However, there are some rules I need to explain so you know how to get your savings. First, to use the coupons, you cannot have any other items in your cart aside from the items that qualify for the sale and you have to have the exact number of items for the coupon usage. Finally, you cannot have duplicate items or multiple quantities in your cart - this is to keep one customer or a store from loading up on all of the available inventory for an item - fair for all!

I will let you know, however, that, it is possible to include items in the bargain bin and items on the weekly specials with your order - so you can get free shipping on these items along with your purchase. However, do not include any items not in these 2 categories on your order, or the coupon will fail. In other words, if you're looking to purchase a few regularly priced items, you'll have to make a separate order. But the savings are worth it!

This offer is available from now until October 1st, 2006! So, first, load up your cart with either 10 or 25 of the items that are eligible, along with any specials or bargain bin items you’d like to tack on. Then, if you’re taking 10 items, use coupon code: BOUNTY10. For 25 items, use coupon code: BOUNTY25. Remember, this sale will end October 1 at 11:59 pm central time.

We’ve made it easy for you to find out what items are eligible for the sale. Just click on the small graphic reading "Bountiful Items", located on the right-hand side of our main page.

Now, the fine print: To utilize this coupon, you must put the requisite number of items into your cart, with no other items included, and no duplicate items, and proceed to checkout. Upon completion of your order, you will see the total charge change to the promotional price. No other coupons or discounts may be applied to orders placed using this promotion. You will be charged for the total promotion price on your initial shipment for your order, and you may receive separate shipments to complete your order at our option. Once your order is placed, you cannot cancel the order or substitute items on your order, with the exception that you may substitute an item with another item which is also eligible for the promotion. Some titles are available only while supplies last. Should stock be exhausted for an item you ordered, you will be contacted by customer service and given the opportunity to substitute another eligible item.

Don’t forget, there are plenty of great items in the weekly specials this week also! Great deals on several box sets, and there’s a new megabundle of Read or Die the TV while supplies last. Also, don’t forget the great bundles on Cardcaptor Sakura, Daichis, Licensed by Royalty, Mahoromatic, and Tenchi in Tokyo!

Well, they’ve arrived with a special jacket for me, I suppose it must be cold outside. I better see what’s up. In the meantime, happy saving!

See all of Shawne's Weekly Specials!
Check out the Bargain Bin!

Mini Japanese 101 with Judy-sensei!

Trinity Blood DVD 1 (Hyb) Limited Edition

Marie's Manga Review: Tsubasa

Do you like or have you ever considered liking CLAMP? Do you not have the foggiest idea who CLAMP is, but thought Chobits, X, or Cardcaptor Sakura were pretty cool? Heck, do you like excellently written adventure/romance and wish I’d stop talking about some sort of garage tool? If you answered yes to any of the above questions (even the last one), has Del Ray got your number.

Reservoir Chronicle Tsubasa is the story of Princess Sakura and young archeologist Syaoran, who, despite their class differences, are childhood friends on the brink of something more. But when Sakura visits an excavation site to confess her feelings to Syaoran, she activates a magic seal and her memories are scattered across worlds. Without her memories, the princess will die, and so, in order to save her, Syaoran sets off on an epic quest to find and restore them. The catch? The only way Syaoran can travel to these other worlds is by using a powerful magic that comes with steep price: he must lose that which he values most. Syaoran pays the price without hesitation, but it means that even if he can complete his impossible quest, his relationship with Sakura will be changed forever.

If those two character names sounded familiar to you, there’s a good reason. Tsubasa is written by CLAMP, an all-female group of four manga-ka who have penned a sizable number of blockbusters, including Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knights Rayearth, Chobits, X, RG Veda, and many more. So when they decided to make their latest work a giant crossover spanning every title they’d ever written, they had an awful lot of material to draw on.

But don’t worry if you haven’t read (or watched) any of those titles. The epic story easily stands on its own with absolutely no previous knowledge required. Like all good cameos, if you don’t know who the “actor” is, you’ll assume they’re simply a regular side character, and since almost all of the character cameos are of alternate universe versions anyway, you won’t be missing any crucial background histories or plots.

On the other hand, if you’re a CLAMP devotee, or even just really determined to catch every single character reference and in-joke, Del Ray’s made it particularly easy for you. At the end of each volume, alongside Del Ray’s usual translation notes, they’ve included blurbs for most of the crossover characters and items. This is especially handy if, like me, you had no idea who the villain in RG Veda was but still want to speculate why he and Chi are inhabiting the same world.

That’s not to say every character in Tsubasa has been borrowed from another story. Quite a few were created just for the new series, and they’re every bit as complex as the rest of the cast. CLAMP has always had a gift for bringing out a character’s personality in just a few panels, and they’re still at the top of their game. While, crossovers have a tendency to emphasize where creators have duplicated character and plot concepts throughout their works, it’s a tribute to CLAMP’s abilities that every character still comes across as completely individual even in the giant stewpot that is Tsubasa.

Given its pedigree, it was pretty much a given that the artwork in this series would be beautifully detailed. But what actually surprised me was how the characters seemed to be almost trying to break free of their pages - barely confined by the ink strokes. Tsubasa was born to be animated, and I have never so anxiously waited for an anime adaptation to reach region 1, particularly so I can finally see what some of the worlds and outfits look like in color.

As for Reservoir Chronicle Tsubasa’s plot, it’s a generous mix of adventure and romance, with a large portions of drama and comedy on the side. The result is the best emotional roller coaster ride I’ve been on since Fushigi Yugi. When the plot goes something like Happy! Sad! Happy! Bittersweet! OMG I recognize that character! Sad! Cliffhanger!, the emotional high that comes with the last page of each volume is comparable to any amusement park ride. You’ll be left either hunting for the next volume to keep the high going or desperately trying to find someone else awake at 2 am so you can tell them just how cool page 57 was.

For all its many, many good points, though, whether or not you’ll like Reservoir Chronicle Tsubasa basically comes down to two factors: how much you love a good adventure/romance and how much you love CLAMP. As long as you like at least one and haven’t built any shrines to ward off the other, you’re pretty much guaranteed to love Tsubasa.

See all Tsubasa products

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Right Stuf Contests and Updates

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