Anime Today #31: Interview With Actor, Writer and Director Crispin Freeman!

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Episode run down:

The New Year is off to a great start for us here at Right Stuf and we hope you’re ready for another great episode of Anime Today. Joining us to kick off 2007 is someone you’re sure to recognize from any number of your favorite anime… the amazingly talented Crispin Freeman.

But first is Chad with What’s Hot in the world of anime and manga followed by another mystery plot in Uso Deshou. Rich, Alison and Nick begin the first of three parts of our in-depth interview with Crispin Freeman. Then the Dark Lord hangs up his red suit once again and blasts into the new year with big-time bargains on Bleach, Naruto, Inu Yasha, and many more DVDs and manga from VIZ.

Kris and Judy ring in the New Year with a great discussion about Japanese New Year traditions and then Nick and Rich bring you the latest winners and the latest Gravitation and Ninja Nonsense contests. Marie reviews the time and space warping adventure, Noein and then we bring Crispin back for the second part of his interview. Judy-sensei catches us up on the proper ways to greet your friends in the New Year. Voting has started for the first annual American Anime Awards and Alison talks to Milton Griepp, who is acting as the Awards Committee Chairman and is the Publisher of ICV2.com. Finally, listen in on the third part of Crispin’s interview and hear his point of view on how you can help shape the American anime industry.

Interview with the amazingly talented Crispin Freeman!

Crispin Freeman

Crispin Freeman’s Right Stuf Highlights

Boogiepop Phantom- Saotome (Manticore)
The Irresponsible Captain Tylor- Tylor
Assemble Insert (OAV): Script
Boogiepop Phantom TV: ADR Script
His and Her Circumstances (TV) : Script Adaptation

Crispin Freeman's Personal Website

Crispin Freeman Fansite

Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=1074
Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crispin_Freeman
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0293342/

What's Hot?

The Saiyans are coming! The last survivors of a cruel, warrior race have set their sights on Earth. Now our planet’s greatest hero, Goku, must rise to protect his family, his friends and the entire human race! But before he takes on Vegeta, the most powerful opponent he’s ever faced, he must confront the secrets of his own past. Digitally re-mastered in high-definition and transferred from the original film, the uncut DVD set of Dragon Ball Z Season 1: The Vegeta Saga also features revised English dialogue and original Japanese music and makes its debut on February 6th.

Otaku meets girl. Otaku asks online acquaintances, “How do I ask her out?” And an Internet phenomenon is ignited! See the live-action, Japanese film depicting the story that spawned not one, but 2 different manga adaptations in Train Man: Densha Otoko, also available on DVD on February 6th.

Legendary anime creator Leiji Matsumoto shares his vision of a future where mankind travels the cosmos using technologically advanced trains. The Galaxy Railways fleet transports citizens from one exotic planet to the next under the watchful eye of the SDF, an elite force that protects it and its passengers against terrorists, meteor storms and malicious alien life. No one knows their stories better than the system’s leader, Layla Destiny Shura, who also has the uncanny ability to see the fates of the Railways’ passengers. Hop aboard the Galaxy Railways when the series’ 26-episode Complete Collection embarks on February 13th!

Yuki and Shiuchi are back in a new manga series from Maki Murakami! In order to heal the wounds in Eiri Yuki’s heart, he and his vocalist lover, Shuichi, travel to New York to visit the grave of Yuki’s first love and tormentor. However, once there, they make a startling discovery that will change their lives forever! Can their love withstand the tests of time and temptation? Find out in Gravitation Ex, Vol. 1 on February 13th!

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

And that’s what’s hot in the world of anime and manga!

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

Shawne's Specials and Blast into 2007 with Bleach

Shawne's Specials and Blast into 2007 with Bleach Sale!

It’s a new year, and the dark lord is beginning to execute his plan to take over the anime universe.

You can Blast into the New Year with big-time bargains on anime and manga titles from VIZ Media! Whether you favor shinigami or ninja, Boys Over Flowers, pop princesses or feudal fairytales, there's something for every taste – and that's even before we get to the manga... or the art books and novels!

From now until January 14th, take at least 40% OFF the retail price of all DVDs and at least 33% OFF the MSRP of all books from VIZ. This sale includes pre-order product, so you can pick up great upcoming titles too!

Just use the reusable coupon code BLEACHBARGAINS when you check out through RightStuf.com. Plus, remember, if you're a Got Anime member, you can stack your discounts for even more savings! You can click on the "VIZ Bargain Items" graphic on the upper right hand corner of our main page for a complete list of the items included in the sale.

Great stuff in the specials this week, and some things that are winding down that you might want to grab while you can. Incredible deals on Fushigi Yugi - both series boxes and the OVA set for unbeatable prices! Also, check out Vandread - the box is only $49.99! We’re still offering the megabundles of both Cardcaptor Sakura and Read or Die the TV too - these prices won’t last forever, so grab the deals while you can. There are several thinpaks in the specials for 45 to 50% off too!

And so it begins..

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

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan: Happy New Years!
New Year's at the temple

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan: Happy New Years!
Toshikoshi Soba, New Year's eve Soba

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan: Happy New Years!
New Years postcard kit

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan: Happy New Years!
Decorative envelopes for Otoshidama, the gift of money children receive at New Year's from parents, grandparents, and relatives

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Ninin Ga Shinobuden (Ninja Nonsense) Graphic Novel 1 (160 pgs)We’re kicking off the New Year with a big congratulations to the 10 winners of our December Ninja Nonsense contest! George C., of Depauw, Indiana; Christine F., of Lexington, Kentucky; Mike R., of El Reno, Oklahoma; Karen M., of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Guarin F., of Eveleth, Minnesota; Octavio P., of Miami, Florida; Kelly W., of Munster, Indiana; Jennifer J., of Stafford, Virginia; Emilia G., of Kirkland, Washington; and JoAnn L., of Houma, Louisiana each will soon be receiving a randomly selected figure depicting a member of the anime’s cast such as Shinobu, Miyabi, Kaeda or Onsokumaru and the ninjas!

Our friends over at Infinity Studios are releasing the second volume of the Ninja Nonsense manga -- Ninin Ga Shinobuden – at the end of this month. And to celebrate, we’re giving away 2 copies of Volume 1! – head over ninja.rightstuf.com, and fill out the entry form in the “Extras” section before February 1st for your chance to win!.


GRAVITATION Congratulations to Gravi fans Peyton M., of Satellite Beach, Florida, and Richard M., of Tupelo, Mississippi! You each just won a prize package featuring cool new Gravitation gear from Great Eastern: a new hobo bag and a wristband, both featuring the series’ cuddly mascot Kumagoro!

Missed out on last month’s contest? Never fear: The new year is starting off with just a little more Bad Luck… This time two winners will each receive a Gravitation “Bad Luck” wallet and a metal keychain featuring Eiri and Shuichi! Go to gravitation.rightstuf.com, and click on the contest link for your chance to win by February 1st!


His And Her Circumstance And finally, congratulations to the winners of our second His and Her Contest! Marc F., of Youngstown, Ohio and Joshua Z., Franklin, Tennessee will each receive a copy of our new His and Her Circumstances thinpak DVD collection!


Marie's DVD Review: Noein

I may love the cute and fluffy, but even I have to admit that there are some days when nothing else will do but some thrilling action and a mind-bending plot. As an added bonus, maybe that action could take place in a world where sorting the villains from the heroes seems impossible and the potential annihilation of ALL SPACE TIME looms ever present in the beautifully drawn background. Fortunately for me, Manga Entertainment has recently released the first DVD of Noein, which just so happens to be all of the above.

Noein takes place just a few years in the future in a small and peaceful city located in northern Japan. Peaceful, anyway, until a small group of mysterious figures cloaked in black arrive from another dimension. Calling themselves The Dragon Calvary, they’re hunting for a mysterious object called the “Dragon Torque,” and they’ll stop at nothing to find and bring it back to their home dimension, La’Cryma – if only they could find the torque. The group is having troubles pinning down its exact location, because the Dragon Torque isn't just an object - it happens to be a twelve-year-old schoolgirl. Completely unaware of her status, Haruka is in the midst of summer break, and just beginning to learn about boys, girls, and the love triangles a co-ed close-knit circle of friends can easily work itself into.

Meanwhile, ghost sightings have begun springing up all over the city, and more than one citizen has seen what appears to be blue snow. But only Haruka has begun seeing more than that. She's seeing and hearing people that no one else can. While she doesn’t know what to make of the sudden appearances and disappearances of her unearthly visitors, her friends and family’s disbelief of her visions isn’t helping. It seems the only other people in town who have any idea at all of what’s going on are a pair of anomaly investigators following abnormal readings on their scanners and Haruka’s best friend, Yuu, whom the Dragon Calvary think is one of their own.

But while it’s easy enough to sum up the basic pieces to Noein’s main plot, the uncertainties the characters face and their interconnected relationships are much harder to explain without a color-coded diagram and a giant spoiler warning. You already know you’re in for something of a mind trip when the Wikipedia entry for a series cites inspiration in the concepts of quantum physics, the uncertainty principle, and Schrodinger’s cat, but it’s impossible to fully appreciate the world of Noein until you’ve actually seen the way it spins permutations and dimensions for yourself. You don’t have to know physics to recognize an altered reality when you see one.

My absolute favorite thing about Noein is the series' ability to build and shape an atmosphere. For example, Haruka’s time spent with her friends and mother has a bright and breezy feel of normalcy to it, and the air of promise and hope is almost tangible. But when it collides with the palpable desperation of the Dragon Calvary, the pleasant atmosphere quickly twists into downright horrifying as Haruka encounters men missing half their faces, battles waged for reasons she can’t understand, and people willing to kidnap or kill her to get what they want.

Meanwhile, Haruka’s own confusion adds to the audience’s, and for the first few episodes there is a particular urgency to understand just what is actually going on. The feeling is only intensified by the show’s penchant to end every possible episode on a cliffhanger, dangling new information and one more piece to the puzzle, seductively implying that the next episode will explain everything. And indeed, the next episode usually does explain what just happened - while adding more mysteries of its own. Don’t expect to go to bed before you’ve finished every episode on the DVD.

Of course, also contributing heavily to its created atmospheres is Noein’s presentation. The music perfectly underscores each emotional highlight, from innocent young love and fierce battles to the series-reflective bi-polar opening theme song. The settings are beautiful interpretations of the real-life town the city was based on, soaked with sun and night as appropriate. The character designs stand out in the current crowd of similar anime faces, distinctive not only from each other but everything else released this year as well, lending an air of uniqueness. Individual personality is in each character’s movement, expression, and even fashion sense while every descent into craziness, desperation, and the scarring of battle is reflected on the characters’ faces. And even the fight scenes, while primarily good old fashioned action, add quite a bit of otherworldliness as the Dragon Calvary fights with blue lightning bolts of electricity and dimension hopping.

Noein tends to inspire three different thoughts in me as I watch: “Wow, that was cool!,” “What the heck just happened?,” and “…You probably shouldn’t taunt the crazy guy - ooh, too late,” often all within about ten seconds of each other. If you like action, mind-trips, and healthy dollops of emotional drama, you’re sure to love Noein. And don’t forget to hunt for the not-so-hidden easter egg outtakes, especially if you’re a Crispin Freeman fan.

Mini Japanese 101 with Judy-sensei!

American Anime Awards

American Anime Awards

Listen in on Alison's phone call with Milton Griepp, the Publisher of ICV2.com and the Awards Committee Chairman for the first annual American Anime Awards. To vote and find out more, head to the American Anime Awards online.

Awards will be given in the following categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor in a Comedy, Best Actress in a Comedy, Best Cast, Best DVD Package Design, Best Anime Theme Song, Best Comedy Anime, Best Anime Feature or OAV, Best Short Series (13 episodes or less), Best Long Series (More than 13 episodes) and Best Manga.

Check out some of the nominees from Right Stuf’s anime properties!

Best Actor

Touma Seguchi
Bill Rogers as “Touma Seguchi” – Gravitation

Kyoichi Kanzaki
Sam Regal as “Kyoichi Kanzaki” – Boys Be

Best Actress

Yukino Miyazawa
Veronica Taylor as “Yukino Miyazawa” – His and Her Circumstances

Yuuki
Zoe Martin as “Yuuki” – Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl’s Heart

Best Actor in a Comedy

Onsokumaru
Sean Schemmel as “Onsokumaru” – Ninja Nonsense

Taishi
Liam O’Brien as “Taishi” – Comic Party

Best Actress in a Comedy

Kaede
Zoe Martin as “Kaede” – Ninja Nonsense

Best Cast

Ninja Nonsense DVD 1 (Hyb): Enter the Ninja
Ninja Nonsense

His and Her Circumstances DVD Thinpak Collection (Hyb)
His and Her Circumstances

Best DVD Package Design

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Editions 1
Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Editions 1

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Editions 2
Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Editions 2

His and Her Circumstances DVD Thinpak Collection (Hyb)
His and Her Circumstances

Best Anime Theme Song

Astro Boy Ultra Collector’s Editions 1
Theme to Astro Boy (1963) by Tatsuo Takai & Donald Rockwell

Gravitation TV Series DVD Thinpak Collection (Hyb)
Gravitation TV Opening “Super Drive” - Yosuke Sakanoue

Best Comedy Anime

Ninja Nonsense DVD 2 (Hyb): Psychedelic Summer
Ninja Nonsense

Best Short Series (13 episodes or less)

Gravitation TV Series DVD Thinpak Collection (Hyb)
Gravitation TV

Ninja Nonsense DVD 4 (Hyb): Exit the Ninja
Ninja Nonsense

Best Long Series (over 13 episodes)

His and Her Circumstances DVD Thinpak Collection (Hyb)

His and Her Circumstances

This episode features music from: