ANIME TODAY #48: Talking Acting With Luci Christian!

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Episode run down:

Kicking off this episode is Chad with What’s Hot, followed by another Uso Deshou mystery plot. Shawne’s then going to tell you how you can save 40% on Bandai Entertainment DVDs with our new Bring on the Bargains sale, and then we’ll have the first of three parts of our interview with voice actress Luci Christian. In this first portion, we’ll find out how she became a voice actress, and which roles she’s most recognized for.

Lisa Marie braves the night with her review of Hellsing Ultimate and then Kris and Judy give us a few tips on some of the best ways we all can learn Japanese in the Anime and Gamer’s Guide to Japan. Rich has to latest contest info along with some web site updates for The Third, and then we’re back with Luci Christian talking about roles she can related to and the challenges of taking on a diverse range of characters. The Q and A for this episode asks a question that I’m sure many of our listeners have been wondering, if not asking themselves, “How do I become a voice actor.” Judi-sensei returns to the classroom with another Mini-Japanese 101 lesson and finishing out this episode is the third part of Luci’s interview where she talks about playing multiple roles in the same series as well as a few of the current releases you can check her out in.

What's Hot?

Some casualties of war never heal. Yet for those who remain in power, the spoils can be sweet, indeed. In the aftermath of the Great War, Lt. Alice Malvin is ordered to command of the Imperial Army's Intelligence Section Three, an elite team where even the newest member hunts down tanks with a handgun. Their code name: Pumpkin Scissors. Her mission: to sharpen IS3 into a deadly instrument of justice and expose the corrupt nobility who prey upon the weak. But as Malvin starts to peel away the layers of a government cover-up, she discovers a military technology decades ahead of what the Army has! What will she do with this newfound knowledge? Find out when the anime Pumpkin Scissors makes its North American DVD debut on October 23rd.

In the dark reaches of time and space, an age of oppression smothered the masses – and under the guise of creating an empire by and for the people, Vetti Sforza waged war against the Allied Nobility. One corrupt ruling class had been destroyed, but in its place, another would emerge… Now a second revolution stirs, and as Michel leads the People’s Army toward freedom, a new hope arrives in the form of an unsurpassed battleship and its crew of rogue pirates. Can this ship’s pilot, the enigmatic Cleo, be the “hero” for whom the people have been waiting? The epic battle begins when Glass Fleet launches on October 23rd with both DVD-only and starter set editions.

It is said a mysterious message board exists, accessible only at midnight. Those who find this Web site have the ability to post the grievances they have against others, and then the Jigoku Shoujo – the Hell Girl – will exact revenge and take the offender’s soul to Hell. But vengeance comes with a heavy price: Those seeking revenge must accept that their souls, too, will be transported to Hell when they die. Is it really just a rumor? Find out when the anime Hell Girl debuts – with DVD-only and starter set versions – on October 23rd.

Otaha seeks vengeance against the yakuza that murdered his brother and almost killed him. Eko, unleashes his wrath and contempt for the pitiful humans infesting the city. And Yurine, Nue, and Otaha join forces for the final, epic battle to save the city and protect the will of the people! Karas DVD 2: The Revelation picks up right where The Prophecy ended on October 23rd.

Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts for as long as he can remember, but when he meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, his life is changed forever. Now, with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling: to protect the living and the dead from evil. And when he vows to protect Rukia from the ruthless justice of the Soul Society, he and his friends must cross over and do battle in the spirit world! You’ve checked it out on TV, now own the first 20 episodes when Bleach DVD Box Set 1 arrives on October 30th.

Throughout time, mankind has chased the dream of immortality, and the Phoenix, in the form of a bird of fire, is said to hold the key to eternal life. Great wars are fought and civilizations rise and fall, all in vain attempts to possess it. Those who perish in pursuit of their desires are the lucky ones. True pain comes for those who find immortality and experience the burden of living forever. Osamu Tezuka’s tale of past, present and future comes to life when Phoenix DVD 1: Persistence of Time lands on October 30th.

Save 25% or more on these titles by preordering them from RightStuf.com at least 10 days before their street dates. Get another 10% off by joining the Got Anime purchasing club for Frequent Buyers.

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

Shawne's Specials and Bring on the Bargains Sale!

Shawne's Specials and Bring on the Bargains Sale!

As I’ve been driving to work this last week, I’ve seen something that has been absent for a while - students waiting for the bus to school! Wasn’t it May just yesterday? Where has the time gone?

School’s back in session, but should that mean saying farewell to the excitement of summer? NO WAY! It’s time to bring on the bargains with cool deals on your favorite DVDs, UMDs and CDs from Bandai Entertainment – including fan favorites like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Eureka Seven and Galaxy Angel AA, Gundam, dot hack, My-Otome and Escaflowne!

From now until September 9th, you can take 40% OFF the retail prices of all Bandai Entertainment DVDs and UMDs and 33% OFF the retail prices of all of their CD releases! Even the ones that aren’t out yet!

Just use the reusable coupon code bringon when you check out through RightStuf.com:

AS ALWAYS, If you’re a member of our groovy Got Anime purchasing club, you can stack your discounts for even more savings! Check out www.gotanime.com for more details on how you can start saving with your first order - sometimes more than the cost even of the membership!

If you’re not sure which products are included in the sale, you can just click on the "Bring On the Bargains" banner on RightStuf.com -- it will take you to a list of all of the Bandai Entertainment products we carry! Our bargain bin, weekly special and closeout items will be excluded from the sale, but don’t let that stop you from buying them - they’re often discounted even more!

Speaking of our bargain bin, in the last week I’ve added some really incredible deals in there, including many limited edition sets that I managed to get a few copies of at super low prices! You really owe it to yourself to check out the savings -- www.rightstuf.com/bargains!

And the weekly specials, as always, have some savings that just can’t be beat - specials on box sets, new releases, and more. The only thing harder than figuring out which ones to buy is... what to pick to put there for you to buy!

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

Luci Christian

Luci Christian

Luci on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luci_Christian
Luci on ANN: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=12493
Luci’s MySpace: http://myspace.com/luci_inthesky
Yahoo Fan Group for Luci: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LuciChristianfangroup/

Marie's DVD Review: Hellsing Ultimate

As I’ve mentioned before, vampires are the new magical girls of anime, and Geneon is currently releasing the OVA remake to one of the genre’s biggest players: Hellsing. There’s a reason why, six years after its initial release, you still see plenty of cosplayers in red wide-brimmed hats and long coats at conventions, and Hellsing Ultimate is only adding fuel to the fire.

The plot? The Protestant Hellsing Organization fights evil vampires. Sometimes they also fight assorted holy agents sent by the Vatican. In both cases, they do so by sending out their secret weapon: a vampire named Arucard. Wielding a shiny gun loaded with silver bullets, he manages to blow as many holes in things as possible and look simultaneously good and creepy while doing it. Also, everyone is from the UK and stylin’.

Okay, okay, let me be more specific.

The Hellsing Organization secretly protects the British Empire from the undead, but recently there’s been a big uptick in the number of fiendish ghouls traipsing around the UK. In response, Sir Integra Hellsing, leader of the organization, has found herself sending out her number one weapon, Arucard, to deal with the monsters more and more often. It’s as he’s fighting a particularly prolific vampire and his ghoulish army that Arucard is forced to shoot through police girl Seras Victoria in order to kill his opponent. As she lies on the ground hemorrhaging blood, he offers her the chance to stay alive by becoming – you guessed it – a vampire. Of course, Seras also gets her own really big gun for shooting other vampires and the occasional priest. And now we’re back to stylin’.

Hellsing Ultimate is actually an OVA series based off of the same manga as the original 13-episode Hellsing anime. When the TV series was made, the manga hadn’t yet finished, so the series’ ending differed from the direction taken by the original manga storyline. Also since it was being broadcast, no matter how late at night, the original series was toned down somewhat for violence and sexual references. The new OVAs follow the manga much more closely, though they still make some adaptations for dramatic purposes, and each 40-50 minutes episode is roughly equivalent to one volume of the manga so far. I say “so far” because the series is still under production in Japan, and it’s anyone’s guess where things will go by say, volume six. Incidentally, that’s also why the DVD release schedule has been a bit uncertain here in America – Geneon can only release the OVAs as fast as Japan makes them.

Just about everything in Hellsing Ultimate is more. More bloody, more disturbing, more sinister... and, strangely enough, more humorous. Most of this is in keeping with the original manga, which sprinkled all sorts of otaku references into the war between the vampires and the churches. I’m serious; there’s even a Gundam gag. Hellsing is still emphatically not a comedy, but I laughed out loud quite a few more times than I was expecting.

But backtracking to the “more bloody” part: when I say bloody, I mean most of these characters bleed more than Chibi Vampire Karin, and she’s supposed to be abnormal. Usually the blood gushes from such minor flesh wounds as 10 million gaping gunshots in their bodies, decapitation, or being stabbed a few dozen times with holy swords, but occasionally something life-threatening results in a blood bath, too. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the blood serves as incredibly effective foreground and mood decorating for the spectacular fights that Arucard, Seras, and the others get into.

When I say spectacular, I mean it. Never the same twice, the battles are kept interesting with Hellsing’s unique sense of style which has been well-preserved during the transition from TV to OVA, if now with a slightly different flavor. The soundtrack is a bit more subdued, serving as an underscore more than a focal point, but it’s still just as snazzy as ever; and the blend of jazzy techno with the more weighty choral music does a superb job highlighting the action. The character designs are a little more hard-edged in places – particularly Seras’ and Arucard’s – to match the manga, but that works better with the broader comedy and gives the characters a wilder air when they cut loose – and cut loose they do. If you worried about Seras’ rather mousy-like attitude in the first series, you’re in for a treat just by the end of volume one.

The dub is absolutely stellar, and if it’s not better than original Japanese, it’s certainly at least its equal. For one, Geneon has brought back all of the original voice actors to reprise their roles, from Crispin Freeman as Arucard to Ralph Lister as the deadly butler Walter. Two, unlike some other ghouls, these villains speak with British accents. There is something immensely satisfying about zombies swearing in cockney. Or sort of a Scottish brogue, as the case requires. And three, there are certain moments that come across as, well, comical in the original Japanese that English dialog fixes – for example, when the menacing priest Anderson uses the word “amen” as a battle cry.

Awash in a sea of blood befitting its vampiric characters, there’s enough action in Hellsing Ultimate to satisfy every fan, and its set on such a sturdy foundation of style and character, there’s plenty of substance making the show genuinely high-class entertainment. Just remember, if you do decide to join the cosplay legions later, cotton breathes; pleather doesn’t. That’ll be important when you’re sucking someone’s blood on a hot July night.

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy

Iwate University’s online quizzes (free): http://sp.cis.iwate-u.ac.jp/sp/lesson/j/indexn.html
ChipChat (online quizzes – free): http://www.chipchat.com/NihonGo/
Japanese Online (online – free): http://www.japanese-online.com/
YesJapan (online only – pay service): http://yesjapan.com/
World Link Study Abroad (immersion): http://www.wle-japan.com/

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Galaxy Angel Rune DVD 1 (S): Launch! Angels Galaxy Angel Rune DVD 2 (S)

It’s time to check in with the Angel Troupe and tag along on their adventures – and misadventures – as they strive to protect peace in the galaxy!

In our new Bandai Visual contest, two lucky winners will each receive a prize package that includes both volumes 1 and 2 of Galaxy Angel Rune!

Be sure to check out our Contests page, under “What’s Hot” at RightStuf.com and get your entry in before September 13th! We’ll be announcing the winners on the NEXT episode of Anime Today!

Our web site for The Third: The Girl With the Blue Eye just got some really great updates in conjunction with our latest announcement of the Volume 3: Gravestone, which is also available with a limited edition art box to hold all six discs in this series. Read about Paife, the latest voluptuous character joining the ranks in the CHARACTERS section, watch an intense minute and a half video clip from Volume 2 and read up on Volume 3 in the SERIES section, and download some new wallpapers, avatars and soundbites in the EXTRAS section. Brave the desert and head on over the thethirdanime.com for more details.


Tenchi Muyo Ryo Ohki DVD Box Set (Hyb)

Anime Today Q & A

If you have a question for us, call 1-800-338-6827, extension 7424. Also, you may send us e-mail at animetoday@rightstuf.com. If your question is selected, you will receive a $10 gift certificate to Right Stuf’s online store!

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Mini Japanese 101 with Judy-sensei!

This episode features music from: