ANIME TODAY #62: Interviewing Actor, Director & Writer Monica Rial

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Episode run down:

Today, March 14th, is White Day in Japan, and its a great excuse to enjoy some sweets. Later in this show, Kris and Judy will be talking about some rather unique Japanese treats. We’re also going to be talking with Tuan Pham, the director of public relations for Anime Boston 2008, which kicks off on March 21st, and with voice actress Monica Rial. Recently she was Princess Sakura in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Misuzu from Air TV, Jo in Burst Angel and Haruka in RahXephon.

The music for this episode is from JapanFiles.com’s CD LiN Clover: Slumber. We’d like to thank JapanFiles.com for letting us feature music from their CDs, a full list with the times each song was played will be posted at the bottom of this episode’s show notes at AnimeToday.com.

Kicking off this episode is Chad, with What’s Hot in the World of Anime, and then another Uso Deshou mystery plot to test your anime knowledge. Our Neon Genesis of Savings sale on ADV Films DVD, CDs, books and merchandise is continuing for a few more days, and Shawne will be giving you the details on that, and the latest show licensed by Right Stuf and Nozomi. Following that, we’ll have the first part of our interview with voice actress Monica Rial, where we’ll talk about how she got her start in voice acting.

Rich and Nick remind the listeners about the last two weeks to enter the super-saiyan video game contest and then Alison, Rich and Nick talk briefly with Tuan Pham from the rapidly approaching Anime Boston. Marie goes back to college, or at least reminisces about college after reading the first volume of Honey and Clover. We then return to Monica’s interview where we discuss her latest writing projects and convention appearances. Judy-sensei has a sweet new lesson plan for an all new Mini Japanese 101 and then Rich and Nick run down the dates and locations of a bunch of upcoming anime conventions. We wrap up our interview with Monica by talking about her upcoming projects and her views on the current state of anime fandom. Taking us out this episode are some of the latest customer reviews from our online store.

What's Hot?

When two girls meet on a train to Tokyo, they find that they have two things in common: They share the name Nana, and they’re both the same age. But aside from that, they couldn’t be more different. Nana “Hachi Komatsu” follows her boyfriend to Tokyo with hopes of making a fresh start, while Nana Osaki is a punk rock beauty with ambitions of making it big in the world of rock music. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become the best of friends. Based on the smash-hit manga by Ai Yazawa, the live-action film adaptation of NANA makes its North American debut on April 8th.

After a catastrophic earthquake buries most of the Earth under the ocean, people make their living by salvaging what they can from the watery ruins. When Aika, a beautiful and talented salvager, accepts a dangerous mission to obtain a special artifact, she uncovers a vast conspiracy. Now, armed with only the ability to transform into a nearly indestructible bikini-clad superwoman, Aika must stop a perverted scientist and his mini-skirt clad army from destroying what’s left of Earth! This new, complete collection features all seven original episodes, plus a previously unreleased live-action episode, and never before seen extra footage. Make way for the Agent Aika DVD Complete Collection on April 15th.

One day, while walking to high school with her friends, Akane is drawn to an old well. With a sudden gust of wind, a mysterious shadow appears and she is propelled into a void where a glimmering jewel is bestowed upon her. It is a divine orb that marks her as one who has inherited the power of the Priestess of the Dragon God. When Akane awakens, she finds herself in another world, a place reminiscent of ancient Japan’s Heian court in Kyoto. And now separated from her friends, the bewildered girl encounters Akram, the man who summoned her to this place and time. Will Akane adjust to the strange, hauntingly familiar land? And will she ever see her home and friends again? The adventure begins when Haruka DVD 1 arrives on April 22nd.

When high school student Kazuki Muto attempts to save a girl from a monster, it turns out he’s the one who needs saving! He puts up a good fight, but ultimately dies in battle to the homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. The girl, Tokiko, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device, which also allows Kazuki to create his own Buso Renkin, an alchemical lance that is capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon in hand, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator! It’s the newest anime based on manga by the famed creator of Rurouni Kenshin! Buso Renkin DVD Set 1, featuring the first 13 episodes of the series, arrives on April 29th.

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 Neon Genesis of Savings!

Shawne's Specials and Neon Genesis of Savings!

Prepare yourself for a new era of savings on titles from ADV Films – you can pick up great deals on first volumes of new series like Moonlight Mile or Project Blue Earth SOS, or last volumes of ongoing series such as Kurau or Ah! My Goddess. Incredible savings are also to be had on new movies like the amazing 5 centimeters per second, and save even more on collections of your favorite hits like Evangelion and Full Metal Panic! And don’t forget to grab upcoming titles too, as preorders are included in the sale!

From now through March 16th, take 40% OFF the retail prices of all DVDs and 33% OFF the retail prices of all CDs, books and merchandise from ADV Films.

Just use the reusable coupon code genesis when you check out through RightStuf.com!

A sale like this one is a great time to pick up or renew your Got Anime purchasing Club membership! For only $12 per year, you get an additional 10% off most purchases through RightStuf.com. So for this sale, you’d be saving 46% off on DVDs and 40% off other ADV Merchandise. Check out www.gotanime.com to learn more about this program, and pick up your membership today!

If you’re not certain which products are included in the sale, you can click on the "Neon Genesis of Savings" graphic on RightStuf.com -- this will bring up a list of all of the ADV Films items we carry! Items in the Bargain Bin aren’t eligible for the sale, but they are already offered below the sale’s discount - so the savings are enormous already. The Bargain Bin is always filled with super offers - check it out directly at www.rightstuf.com/bargains.

Have you heard about our new Nozomi license? Nozomi is proud to announce the upcoming release of Maria Watches Over Us, Maria-sama ga miteru! This series will be released in value priced DVD Season Sets! Check out maria-sama.rightstuf.com to get more information and preorder today!

The Dark Lord is preparing for his trip to the land of the Rising Sun for the Tokyo Anime Fair. Because of this, sales for next week will run over a two week period. Who knows what the minions will do when I’m away. They’re sneaky. I sometimes wonder if when I get back if they will have sold my office furniture.

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

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and JudyPermission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Source

101 Frightening Ice Cream Flavors From Around The World:
http://www.who-sucks.com/food/101-frightening-ice-cream-flavors-from-around-the-world

Wiki on Japanese Ice Cream:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream#Japan

Japanese Ice Cream Blogspot:
http://japaneseicecream.blogspot.com/

 

Monica Rial

Monica Rial


Monica’s MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellomonichan
Monica Rial Fan Group on MySpace: http://groups.myspace.com/MonicaRial
Monica's Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/monicarial_fans/

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

New Contest!To celebrate the recent release of the Dragon Ball Z Season 4 Uncut Box Set, FUNimation and Right Stuf are teaming up to bring you a super-saiyan sized contest!  Enter to win one of five Dragon Ball Z video games of your choice:

  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai for Playstation 2
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 for Gamecube
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 for the Wii
  • Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai for the PSP or
  • Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu for the Nintendo DS.

To enter, and take a look at the games, check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com, and get your entry in before March 27th. We’ll announce the winners on the March 28th episode of Anime Today!


PiQ Magazine

Tuan Pham from Anime Boston

Tuan Pham from Anime Boston


Anime Boston 2008: http://www.animeboston.com/

Marie's Spotlight: Honey and Clover

They say that some things are universal, like love and mathematics, but it would never have occurred to me to put college on that list as well. Honey and Clover, Viz’s latest addition to their Shojo Beat line, proves I should really think outside of the box more often, and captures the college experience as perfectly as Avenue Q’s tribute to higher learning.

Honey and Clover is written from the perspective of a group of poor college guys all attending art school and living in the same cheap, cramped apartment building near campus. Takemoto is a sophomore who’s mostly learned the ropes by now, but he’s still unsure of what studies to focus on, not to mention what he’s going to do after graduation. Morita has been stuck in college for six years now due to his lack of attendance in a single morning class that he never manages to wake up in time for. Mayuma’s about to graduate from the architecture department, but he’s less concerned about his future and more focused on Rika, a pretty – and older - woman who was injured in a car accident. Add to the mix Hagu, a genuine artistic genius despite her childish looks, and Yamada, a tough-as-nails pottery student, and you’ve got one of those groups of friends that feels just like family. An exasperating family and one you might not want to acknowledge in public, but still, a family.

Obviously, slice of life more than anything else, it’s not much of a surprise to note that Honey and Clover is character driven. What might be a surprise to those used to shojo’s usual bounty of beautiful people are the designs. With the exception of Hagu, no one is overly pretty, a bishonen, hideously disfigured, or anything else you’ve come to expect from the genre. Instead, they look a lot like, well… college students. And professors. Realism and manga – the new peanut butter and jelly?

 Speaking of realism, I also really liked the series’ take on crushes and love. Rather than being full of high school dramatics, love here is something sweet and awkward, and the occasional tears are even more moving because you really feel it wasn’t just a crush to outgrown. Honey and Clover also shows more attention to the practicalities of life. Love triangles, for example, can’t always be settled by a race or dramatic double-identity reveal.

That’s not to say Honey and Clover is all about love and romance. I just like that part. Comedy also plays a large role without ever losing that real-life touch. A lot of it comes from the sheer absurdities that come about when, say, five guys find the prospect of free croquettes and leftover condiments to be a feast or laughing at the travails of Takemoto as he tries to make sense of his upperclassmen. The two girls also get plenty of laughs on their own as Yamada fiercely defends her status as the pottery “ironman” or the petite Hagu does, well, pretty much anything while surrounded by people twice her size.

Honey and Clover truly invokes the college feeling, which I found especially impressive as I a) majored in engineering, not art, and always thought the two were very different subjects, and b) did not go to college in Japan, where I assume things are somewhat different. But apparently moving away from home, discovering food costs money, and figuring out what to do with your life are global. Who knew? I particularly emphasized with Morita and his inability to wake up by 10 despite the presence of three alarm clocks and a nagging neighbor, not to mention the obsession all the guys have with food. Anyone else remember those tips in the campus newspaper about how to score good, cheap eats? I have a feeling Takemoto would.

One thing that puzzles me about Honey and Clover is that it is unequivocally classified as shojo. It runs in Shojo Beat here in the States and won the Kodansha award for best shojo manga in Japan. However, it feels more like… Well, not shonen really, but these guys act like real guys, not your romantic hero types. Think roughly along the lines of Boys Be, but more grown up and less focused on burgeoning sexuality. Thank goodness manga is sorted alphabetically or I’d have no idea where to put it on my shelves.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering where the title comes from, mangaka Chica Umino named it after two of her favorite albums, Honey by Spitz and Clover by Suga Shikao. She’s got taste, when Viz starts soliciting the Honey and Clover anime DVDs, I really hope they release the soundtracks too, because the anime borrowed heavily from both artists’ catalogs.

As you may have guessed by now, Honey and Clover is perfect for pretty much everyone who ever attended university. It’s funny, touching, and, once it gets farther into post-graduation concerns, even a bit philosophical. True, I did get Avenue Q’s “I Wish I Could go Back to College,” stuck in my head, but given the context it seemed only fitting.

Mini Japanese 101 with Judy-sensei!

Animecons.com

Hell Girl DVD 5 (Hyb): Carp

What our customers are saying

This episode featured music from:

  • LiN Clover CD: Slumber

    LiN Clover CD: Slumber

    0:00:00 --- 6. shuon no tokei

    0:02:21 --- 3. miracle

    0:05:52 --- 8. taiyou no kazu

    0:13:26 --- 4. higanbana wa mama

    0:25:09 --- 5. misleading shore

    0:27:11 --- 5. misleading shore

    0:39:14 --- 9. kaijuu to magician no machi

    0:44:47 --- 4. higanbana wa mama

    0:58:10 --- 10. never

    0:59:53 --- 10. never

    1:03:39 --- 4. higanbana wa mama

    1:14:11 --- 7. risou decibel

    1:16:36 --- 2. it

    1:18:00 --- 1. empty