Anime Today #30: Interview With Voice Actors Liam O'Brien and Sam Regal!Posted on: Friday, December 22, 2006
Episode run down:
We hope you’re having a great holiday season; Christmas is right around the corner, and what better time of the year is there to get together with friends and watch anime? Our 12 days sale is still running through midnight on Christmas Eve, so you still have a few more days to get in on the savings.
Starting off the holiday cheer is What’s Hot with Chad followed by the mysterious Uso Deshou. This past week, Nick, Alison and Rich were lucky enough to catch up with two very busy voice actors, Liam O’Brien and Sam Regal. Listen in on the first part of this 30 minute interview and then prepare yourself for the Dark Lo-, er, Santa Kleckner and his Bundle of Anime Joy!
Kris and Judy highlight a few Christmas traditions in Japan including some of the Colonel’s finest in this episode’s Anime and Gamer’s Guide. Rich and Nick return with the run down of our latest contests and then Marie breezes by with her fashionable review of Satisfaction Guaranteed. Judy-sensei is full of holiday joy in her Mini Japanese 101 lesson and then we’ll answer a listener’s question regarding the longest running manga in the U.S. Vic Annato returns with his cut-up of the massively popular Naruto and then catch part two of our interview with Liam and Sam. Taking us out today are some RightStuf.com customer reviews and the answers to the Uso Deshou mystery plot and this episode’s featured soundtrack.
Interview with Liam O'Brien and Sam Regal
Liam O’Brien's Right Stuf Highlights:
BOOGIEPOP PHANTOM – Yoji Suganuma
BOYS BE… – Co-director, script adaptation, role of Makoto
COMIC PARTY – Taishi
HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES – Hideaki Asaba
K.O. BEAST – Bud Mint Non
Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=1438
Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liam_O%27Brien
Sam Regal's Right Stuf Highlights:
BOYS BE – Co-director, script adaptation, role of Kyoichi
COMIC PARTY – Script adaptation
K.O. BEAST – Wan Derbard
SHINGU – Co-director, script adaptation, role of Toshio Mikami Non
Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=14772
Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Regal
Roy is living the hard life of a bounty hunter in a broken city where crime is rampant and the availability of cybernetics has made the criminals especially dangerous. He needs a miracle to escape the rut he is in, and one night she falls from the sky into his life, a mysterious young girl without a past, who also possesses incredible strength. Bounty hunters, sexy androids, and lots of action mark Solty Rei, the Gonzo/AIC joint production that makes its debut – with or without an artbox – on January 23rd.
The city-nation of Judoh needed a hero, so its government secretly built Android J, a special agent who initially appears to be human. But this illusion quickly disappears in clouds of scorching steam when he fights. Together with his partner, Daisuke Aurora, the most dangerous criminals will soon find themselves on the run from the underground legend known as Heat Guy in the new Heat Guy J DVD Box Set which includes all 7 volumes in the series, plus a disc of extras for a new, reduced price, also on January 23rd.
With the events of the eclipse behind him, Guts sets off on the long path to his vengeance. In a village plagued by horrific, flesh-eating elves, he searches for the source… the queen. But will he be able to overcome this terrible foe’s incredible speed and power? Kentaro Miura’s dark fantasy continues past the point where its anime adaptation left off in Berserk, Vol. 15, available on January 24th.
A brilliant, renegade surgeon, known only as Black Jack, operates outside the law in a world where the grim reaper can strike at any time. No matter how strange, dark or unorthodox the surgery, he handles it with cold calculating precision. Unafraid of mysteries that verge on the paranormal, he is the one man with the power to cheat death for a terrible price! Created by the legendary Osamu Tezuka who was once a surgeon himself, the Black Jack DVD Collection 1 will be available on January 30th.
Save 25% or more on these titles by preordering them from RightStuf.com at least 10 days before their street dates. Get an additional 10% off by joining the Got Anime purchasing club for Frequent Buyers. And that’s what’s hot in the world of anime and manga!
Shawne's Specials and 12+ Days of Christmas Sale Highlights
We’re down to the wire - the holidays are upon us now. Have you placed your order from the 12+ days of Christmas? You know you want to - treat yourself to some of the amazing bargains that can be had only through 11:59pm on December 24!
If you haven’t heard about the sale, here’s a quick rundown - each day starting on December 4, we added new items to our sale - and now you can buy any or all of these items at super steep discounts through the 24th. No coupon codes are necessary - so you can add these items on to other things you’re thinking about purchasing - items from the specials, a special treat for someone on your shopping list, or, as I mentioned before, a special treat for youself! Just make sure you get your order in before the end of the day December 24!
We at Right Stuf would like to wish all of our customers a safe and happy holiday - you are the lifeblood of our business and we appreciate each and every one of you!
In terms of other great offers - I’ve extended our great sale on Hentai CDROM games, as well as our quickie sale on DC Comics CMX Graphic Novels! Plus, look at the huge savings on box sets and bundles of Vandread, Fushigi Yugi, Cardcaptor Sakura, Licensed by Royalty, Read or Die the TV, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, among many more!
What might the dark lord have in store for you in the coming new year? It’s hard to say. As the dawn comes on 2007, the minions are prepping for an all out assault on wallets everywhere.
The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
Don’t miss out on your chance to win one of 10 randomly selected Ninja Nonsense figurines depicting Shinobu, Miyabi, Kaede or a very special set with Onsokumaru and the ninjas! To enter – and get a sneak peek at the figures – head over ninja.rightstuf.com, and fill out the entry form in the “Extras” section before January 5!
We’ve decided to extend our His and Her celebration through the holidays by giving away two copies of the new His and Her Circumstances thinpak collection. (Which features all 26 episodes of this romantic and comedic favorite!) Check out hisandher.rightstuf.com, and click on the “contest” link before January 5 for your chance to win!
Marie's Manga Review: Satisfaction Guaranteed!
Do you like the idea of romance and cuteness triumphing against the not-so-very-great odds? Wish Case Closed were a little lighter on the murder and a little heavier on the slapstick? Then you’ll find the title on the cover more than accurate in Tokyopop’s Satisfaction Guaranteed. Cynics, this review is not for you.
In Satisfaction Guaranteed, 18-year-old Shima skipped college in favor of running an all-purpose online detective agency. Like all good detectives, he’ll take any case, and, of course, the customer’s satisfaction is guaranteed. Shima is fearless in every way but one: the sight of an open flame instantly recalls the horrific memories of the night two years ago when his parents perished in their burning home. Like Superman encountering kryptonite, fire is the one way to stop Shima dead in his tracks.
Shima’s most recent client is Kaori, a high school student and male supermodel who needs help identifying a creepy stalker. Due to the pressures of the modeling world, normally mild-mannered Kaori has developed a split personality, and the instant he’s in front of the camera or fans, he becomes the cool and cynical Kyo. But Kaori and Shima instantly click, and while solving the case they discover that each acts as a sort of neutralizing agent on the other. Shima makes Kaori less reliant on Kyo to function and Kaori calms Shima in the presence of fire. Once the stalker case is solved, it’s only natural that Kaori begins working at Shima’s detective agency, cementing their partnership and setting a foundation for many escapades and wacky hijinx to come.
Despite its obvious mystery component, Satisfaction Guaranteed is not really about meticulously set up plots and homicidal villains. Instead, much in the vein of Kyo Kara Maoh or Ouran High School Host Club, the plot serves as a vehicle for entertaining character interaction or pretty costumes, though of course you’re still welcome to try and solve the case before Encyclopedia Brow- err, Shima does.
Which is not to say the cases aren’t interesting. Ranging from hotel break-ins, deadly inheritances, and sabotaged amusement park rides, each case comes with its own twists and turns. But no matter which direction the case takes, it’s true that there’s little mystery as to the likelihood of a happy outcome. Just as Shakespeare’s comedies don’t end in tragic death for half the cast, Satisfaction Guaranteed concludes almost every story with a satisfactory resolution with the villains punished and any star-crossed lovers blissfully reunited.
The character designs actually remind me a lot of Slayers, as does manga-ka Ryo Saenagi’s penchant for having her characters cross-dress whenever she thinks it will get a laugh. None of the designs are particularly original and the art isn’t full-out detailed and embellished CLAMP-style, but the simplicity serves the broad comedy well, and gives more focus to the character’s faces and expressions, which is something I always like to see.
Where Satisfaction Guaranteed truly shines is in Ryo Saenagi’s use of wry asides and author’s notes. Generally written in a smaller font off to the side of text bubbles containing more “important” and “serious” dialog, these tend to be “meta” comments discussing the plot or characters, side jokes, or even sometimes just a bad pun she couldn’t resist. Ryo Saenagi also does better the wackier she lets her plots get, tongue firmly in cheek as her characters throw themselves wholeheartedly into their latest mystery about a crazed barber stalking a tea shop and cutting off girls’ long hair.
There’s nothing particularly deep or complicated about Satisfaction Guaranteed, but if you’ve been looking for the perfect light holiday reading to go with your hot cocoa and fuzzy slippers this series is guaranteed fluffy fun.
Anime Today Q & A
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Vic Annato's Stuf That Cuts: Naruto: Uncut Box Set – Volumes 1 & 2
Konichiwa minasan. Vic Annato, bringing it back to the tracks, where the action reacts. We’ve got a special Christmas edition of the segment this time around. The holiday shopping season is running in full-swing, and I’ve got the cut-up review for an action title that has had fans clamoring for months. Ready to get started? Then draw-out, sharpen-up, and strike fast – here comes the “Stuf That Cuts”.
As if it needed an introduction, it’s the one series that die-hard fans have loved since forever, cosplayed in masses, and projected to be the next Dragon Ball Z. Sounds fishy? Not at all, if you’re a show called: Naruto. Ready your shuriken kids, here’s the review of the uncut (and special edition versions of) volume 1 & 2.
For those of you who aren’t in the mix just yet, Naruto is a quirky and fun action-comedy-drama that details the life of one: Naruto Uzumaki and his unending quest to become a supreme ninja, and leader of the Konoha village. Ridiculed by others, Naruto holds sealed within him the spirit of a great nine-tailed fox that had nearly destroyed the village; several years ago. As such, he retains the beasts’ devastating power and unspeakable rage within his own body.
Alongside his two fellow classmates, Sasuke Uchiha (the sole-survivor and dedicated avenger to his family line) and Sakura Haruno (the cute, lively, and creative genius of the group), Naruto and company travel to surrounding countries, battle fierce rival ninja, and match it up with each other back home; on their way to becoming elite warriors and protectors of the land.
Story and characters aside, we’re going to focus our attention on the core elements that make up these special edition box sets. The first volume introduces the series’ main characters, origins, and beginning of the “battle for the bridge” story arc. Volume two will take viewers from the conclusion of that fight, to just slightly after the end of the written-portion, during the chunin exams.
Since the show first aired on Cartoon Network, nearly a year ago, fans have been demanding the domestic sale of these uncut volumes. Now that they’ve begun to be released, these box sets contain all the unedited dialogue and segments of the original Japanese production. Complete with crimson wounds, intense battle sequences, and bleeding-nosed sensei’s.
Interestingly (at this point in the series) the English-dubbed dialogue track remains largely unchanged from its edited (on-air) counterpart. Sorry manga-aficinados, but you’re not going to be finding some of the more colorful expressions used in the graphic novels; just yet.
Of particular note, is the amount of extra content contained on these discs. Some recent anime DVD releases have been all about spotlighting bonuses and added features. However, the Naruto uncut box sets, don’t seem to fall into this category.
The Naruto uncut box sets, are just exactly that: The original uncut episodes of the show (presented with both Japanese, and English audio options), preserved alongside their original openings and endings. These sets contain a small art gallery, short script-to-screen featurettes, as well as an extended preview for the next uncut volume in the series. However, that’s about as far as the extra content goes on the discs; themselves.
The inclusion of a physical production booklet is also a nice touch. Additionally, for a few dollars more, consumers can buy the special edition version (of the uncut box) which includes a leaf village headband and matching wristband for volume one, and a sand village headband-wristband combo for volume two.
So then, does the Naruto uncut and special edition sets swing-and-miss for consumer price tags? Let’s have a look at the “Act-Factor”.
The ultimate breakdown of the deal is this: You’re getting exactly what you’re paying for: The uncut episodes of the show, preserved in their original formats, alongside high-quality transfer to DVD disc.
All in all though, it’s a good first attempt to bring the series to DVD. The picture and sound quality look clean and sharp, and the English dubbing is excellently performed. Considering that the show is well above the 200+ episode mark in Japan (215, at the time of this recording), this series is going to be around for a while. However, it hasn’t slowed the North American mainstream success of this fan-favorite phenomenon.
Naruto, uncut box set one - contains episodes 1 through 13; of the series. Box set two continues the story, with episodes 14 through 26. Each version comes with a sketch-to-screen storyboard booklet, and is also available as a special edition, w/head and wristband pack-ins.
Insert allowance-stealing no jutsu, here. Happy holidays everyone. For on the hilt of our blade, that’s a look at the “Stuf that Cuts”.