Anime Today #33: interview With Bandai Entertainment President and CEO Ken Iyadomi!

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Episode run down:

This week, we’ve got another great interview from a prominent figure in the anime industry, Ken Iyadomi. Keep listening to hear what the President and CEO of Bandai Entertainment has to say about the future of the anime industry.

Chad’s back with some hot titles to warm up your February with Uso Deshou testing your anime knowledge coming up next. Then the Dark Lord tunes us in on his latest Media Blasters sale followed by the first half of our interview with Ken Iyadomi. Rich and Nick return to announce the latest contest winners and to kick off the brand new Aim for the Top Contest!

If you’re ever in Japan on New Year’s Day, you may run across a popular custom called Fukubukuro. Kris and Judy will be giving us the details on how you can take advantage of these cheap grab bags of merchandise in this episode’s Anime and Gamers Guide. Vic Annato cuts up the new high speed Initial D Live Action Movie and then Judy-sensei talks about the weather.

Alison and Rich return with the second half of Mr. Iyadmoi’s interview and then listen in on Kris and Judy’s response to the latest Q and A question about box sets and thinpaks. Finally, catch up with your fellow anime fans and hear a few recent reviews written by our customers on RightStuf.com.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so for this episode, we have a Geneon soundtrack from a great, “love conquers all” anime title; we’ll give you the full details at the end of this episode. And could there a better time of the year to pick up some of Right Stuf’s own releases like His and Her Circumstances, Boys Be..., or Gravitation?

Interview with Ken Iyadomi, President and CEO of Bandai Entertainment!

Ken Iyadomi

Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=267
IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0412669/

What's Hot?

Earth Alliance and Orb Union fleets gather their forces in the Mediterranean Sea and launch a second attack on the Minerva. And this time, not even the Archangel’s intervention can stop the fighting. While Shinn unleashes his anger against the Orb fleet, Kira and Athrun confront each other on the battlefield again, but one of these lifelong friends falls in defeat. And back in the PLANT homeland, Chairmain Durandel considers his plans for the future – plans that will require the removal of disruptive elements, including Lacus and the Archangel crew! The mobile suit battles and political intrigues continue on March 6th in Gundam SEED Destiny, Vol. 7, available with or without the special-edition art box.

A reformed gang member, Haine has been infatuated with Shizu-masa Togu since she read the fairy tale he wrote as a child. Now, years later, when she is appointed to the student council of the prestigious Imperial Academy, she finds herself struggling to find her place among the secrets of its elite members… especially the secrets of her long-held crush. As the “emperor” of the Academy, he’s so well-sequestered that she hasn’t been able to speak with him, and rumor has it, he’s already “taken.” The newest shôjo manga by Arina Tanemura, The Gentlemen’s Alliance, Vol. 1 debuts on March 6th.

For as long Shima Katase can remember, she’s dreamed of going up into space. So when the 15-year-old computer genius is accepted to the Stellvia Foundation for training as a pilot, she jumps at the chance. Piloting is more complicated than programming, but when Shima combines the two, she may find a way to make a difference as she and her classmates prepare for the “Second Wave” of a potential supernova disaster. Is she a genius or a troublemaker? Find out when the Stellvia Complete Tin Set, featuring all 26 episodes of this sci-fi school story, lifts off on March 13th.

Yoko Nakajima is a typical, obedient Japanese high school student with a fairly ordinary life. The only thing that makes her different is her red hair. That is until the day a unicorn, disguised as a young, blond-haired boy, tells her she is his master and must return to their kingdom. When he vanishes, she is left alone to wander through a foreign land with only a magic sword and magic stone for protection. Now lost, without a map and with demons on her trail, can she survive? Find out when the first volume of Twelve Kingdoms, the beginning of this popular light novel series that inspired the anime, debuts on March 13th.

Pacifica Cassul is a girl with a destiny, but it’s not the kind of destiny she wants. She is the “Scrapped Princess,” who, according to prophecy, is the poison that will cause the world’s destruction upon her 16th birthday. There are those who want her gone. Luckily, two powerful people have sworn to protect her: her brother Shannon, an impeccable swordsman, and her magic-wielding sister, Raquel. As they keep moving, to keep Pacifica safe, they’ll encounter friends, traitors, assassins and even a Special Forces operative. But will they unravel the mystery behind the supposed Armageddon in time? Hit the road on March 20th with the Anime Legends: Scrapped Princess Complete Collection, including all 24 episodes of this series, animated by Bones and based on the popular novels by Ichiro Sakaki.

The massive, multiplayer online game “The World” is re-booted and reborn following a mysterious fire, and millions of players, old and new, are logging on in droves. But they soon discover this new version isn’t as forgiving as its previous incarnation. And Haseo, one of The World’s inhabitants, quickly finds himself wrapped up in a whole lot more than he bargained for. Immerse yourself in the latest installment of the incredibly popular “Dot-Hack” series on March 20th with .hack//Roots DVD 1, available as a disc-only release or as a special edition with artbox, CD soundtrack, game demo and T-shirt.

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 Tune In To Super Savings sale!

Shawne's Specials and Tune In To Super Savings sale!

I’m sure many of you are gearing up for the big game this weekend -- the recliner all at the ready with easy access to remote, food, beverages - it promises to be a great afternoon - and let’s hope the game lives up to the hype!

Before or after the game, you can tune in for 10 days of super savings on Media Blasters, Tokyo Shock and Kitty Media DVDs, manga and more! Giant robots and bone-crushing adventure your thing? Try classic Voltron, Giant Robo, or Berserk. You can catch some samurai action in Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai Deeper Kyo. Fantasy fans can check out discs of Ah! My Goddess TV or Twelve Kingdoms, or for a good laugh, there’s great shows like Genshiken and Magic Users Club.

From now until February 11, take 40% OFF the retail price on all DVDs and 33% OFF on graphic novels and all other merchandise items from Media Blasters, Tokyo Shock and Kitty Media - including pre-orders!

Just use the reusable coupon code TUNEIN when you check out through RightStuf.com. Plus - if you're a member of our Got Anime purchasing club, you can stack your discounts for even more savings!

Not sure which products are included in the sale? Just click on the "Tune In Items" graphic on the upper right hand corner. It will take you to a thorough rundown of what's fair game! And - don't forget to check out the Bargain Bin for even more Media Blasters bargains, up to 88% off their original prices! Sorry - no further discounts on these titles, they’re already such great deals!

Don’t forget, this sale ends February 11.

But wait, there’s more? Through February 7 we’re also discounting all bags and merchandise from Mythwear - great manga pouches, lucky bags, messenger bags, and more! No coupon is required, you receive 30% off the regular prices right off the bat - and your Got Anime discount will stack too!

And that’s before you even get to all of the great deals this week in the weekly specials! There are box sets in there for more than 50% off! Check out the amazing deals on limited edition volumes of Negima, plus a new bundle of Samurai 7 - all of the special limited edition releases for only $109.99! These items are also available singly if you need to fill in a couple spots in your collection.

No matter who you’re rooting for, you just can’t lose with a great anime release to watch during those frigid winter nights. Now, I’m off to knock some of the icicles off the minions - the temps here are likely not to break the single digits today!

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

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Ninin Ga Shinobuden (Ninja Nonsense) Graphic Novel 1 (160 pgs) Congratulations to Lisa V. of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Joshua Z. of Franklin, Tennessee! Each of you will soon be receiving the first volume of Ninin Ga Shinobuden, the Ninja Nonsense manga, to celebrate Infinity Studio’s upcoming release of Volume 2! Keep your eye on the official Ninja Nonsense site – at ninja.rightstuf.com – and listen to the next episode of Anime Today for details about our next ninja-inspired contest!


GRAVITATION Also, we’d like to congratulate Cynthia D. of Columbus, Ohio and Ruth H. of Miami, Florida! You’ll be getting a little bit of “Bad Luck” thanks to our latest Gravitation giveaway. Soon each of you will be receiving a Gravitation “Bad Luck” wallet, plus a metal keychain featuring Eiri and Shuichi! We’re queuing up our set list for the next batch of Gravitation contests, so be sure to tune in to the next episode of Anime Today for details and keep visiting gravitation.rightstuf.com!

Gunbuster DVD (S) Gunbuster, the classic sci-fi action series from Gainax, will be making its long-awaited U.S. DVD debut on February 20th. To celebrate this much-anticipated release from Honneamise, we’re giving fans the chance to win one of two copies of this super-deluxe DVD release that features all six episodes spread across three DVDs, plus 30 minutes of bonus clips and a 24-page color booklet all wrapped up in a beautiful art box!

Check out our Contests page and enter to win before March 1, 2007!


The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan

This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Fukubukuro_Takeshita_dori_01.jpg under the creative commons cc-by-sa 2.5 license.

Anime and Gamer's Guide to Japan

This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Fukubukuro_Takeshita_dori_02.jpg under the creative commons cc-by-sa 2.5 license.

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles: The Movie DVD

Vic Annato's Stuf That Cuts: Initial D – The Motion Picture

San, ni, ichi, iko u so, minesan! Hey there anime fans, and welcome back to the only triple four-lettered review-segment that shoots it straight to the core. You’ve got it shifted into overdrive, and white knuckled’ to the throttle on this weeks’ all-out, action-review, rush-down. I be ya host, Vic, and this is the “Stuf That Cuts”.

Hang on tight, gear-heads, we’re running down the mountain with this one. Based on the super-popular manga, this weeks’ review has got your pink slip for one of the top import-tuning anime series turned motion picture. It’s the live-action movie based on Shuichi Shigeno’s downhill dreadnaught. No need to stagnate, so drive it like ya stole it. Here comes the cut-up review for Initial D – The Motion Picture.

Initial D’s live-action movie, is an awesome downhill drift session, and spotlights many of the real-world counterparts of those vehicles and landscapes found in the Initial D anime and manga.

The movie stars Jay Chou, as the tofu-delivering, eight-six drifting: Takumi Fujiwara, and details how he inadvertently falls into the action-charged, daredevil world of downhill drift racing. His father Bunta Fujiwara (played by: Anthony Wong), notices that Takumi becomes increasingly more efficient in his early-morning Tofu run about Mount Akina. So much so, that soon everybody starts asking questions as to whom this rogue driving specialist, really is.

Many of the rival race teams suspect that it might be the legendary Bunta; a former pro who quit drift-racing years ago. However, when they discover that the phantom driver is indeed his son, Takumi, they can hardly believe their eyes. For them, it seems an impossibility that anyone driving a car as old as a Trueno Eight-Six (outdated by many standards), and with no professional racing experience, could do the kind of maneuvers that speak of “the legendary ghost of Mount Akina”. However, Takumi’s been doing this for much longer than most of his contenders are aware.

Alongside his over-excitable colleague, Itsuki, the two young men work at a local town gas station to make some spending cash during the summer. When they start seeing some “familiar faces” from rival drift teams show up at the station (such as the Red Suns, and Emporer Teams), everyone starts looking for a challenge from the otherwise easy-going Takumi; who’s only had minimal interest in the whole race-battle-scene. After accepting the invitation though, viewers are in for one of the most action-packed, gamble-rumble, drift-and-shift downhill pursuits; ever.

The live-action direction and design of the Initial D feature film, is excellently produced and holds a strong tie-in to Shuichi Shigeno’s original manga format. Characters are instantly familiar, and from the first opening camera-pan sequence of Mount Akina, you know that this story is going to be one super-fast, action-packed production.

Interestingly though, one key factor of the franchise is strangely missing from the film. That being, the hi-energy super-eurobeat soundtrack, featured throughout the anime and video game incarnations of Initial D. Instead, the live-action movie employs an original style of hip-hop and R & B; for its soundtrack. However, the music is nicely balanced, and brings out the feeling and emotion of many of the film’s key sequences.

Looking for extras? Nearly every last detail is covered here. In this special-edition set, you’ll discover such a variety of additional features, that you’ll have a hard time choosing which one to view first. Included are various TV and theatrical spots, promotional press & track drift-sessions, outtakes, actor-interviews, and a behind-the-scenes documentary of the film’s adaptation. This 2-disc compilation is absolutely a must-have, and no fan or casual viewer alike will be left feeling disappointed.

Alright boys, line ‘em up. The “Act Factor” tachometer, has got its’ needle to the red. Here’s the final verdict:

Initial D gets the checkered flag for franchise fans, casual viewers, and gear-heads everywhere.

The characters are nearly spot-on (with a few changes in wardrobe) and enthusiasts will marvel at seeing their favorite cars, drifting hard and fast in the real-world landscape. There are some added scene effects used in the design of the film (that don’t appear in the manga) but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience of this cinematic thrill-ride. The music is cool, the photography is faithful to its roots, and the direction is well-done. You’ll be feeling every last hairpin turn and split-second shift. Fan or casual viewer alike, Initial D’s live action movie is rock-solid and packed full of additional content.

If this review’s got your engine running, then be sure to check out the hit manga that started it all, as well as the 2D/CG-infused, super-eurobeat anime series; as well. Still not enough? Then take a trip down to your local arcade, and snag your own license to drive - from one of the multiple versions of the Initial D: Arcade Stage.

Short of having your own Fujiwara-drift machine, this is an excellent substitute for anyone who’s even ever thought of stepping into the shoes of Project D; and company.

More driven than a turbo-tuned eight-six, and making lancer Evo’s move back in their tracks: Drift on, action fans. That’s a look at the Stuf-That-Cuts

Mini Japanese 101 with Judy-sensei!

Anime Today Q & A

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