ANIME TODAY #72: Talking Gaming & E3Posted on: Friday, August 1, 2008
Episode run down:
The music for this episode is from JapanFiles.com’s next CD by raw bit ambience of electro. 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.
Anime Iowa is coming up in just a couple weeks. It kicks off on Friday, August 15th and runs through Sunday afternoon. Several people from Right Stuf, including Alison, Nick, and Rich will be there on Saturday for a Right Stuf panel. Check the updated schedule that will be posted at the convention for the room and time. We’ll also be wandering the halls, talking with anime fans, and giving away swag. So if you see some people in Anime Today t-shirts, feel free to flag us down. More information on this con is available at animeiowa.com and we’ll be tweeting updates on Twitter.
Chad’s once again kicking off this episode with What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, followed by another Uso Deshou mystery plot to test your anime knowledge. Our Super-Saiyan Savings on Dragon Ball sale continues through Sunday night, and Shawne’s going to bring you all the details next.
Kris and Judy are back to highlight some of their favorite announcements that were made at the E3 Expo a few weeks ago. If you’re a casual gamer and weren’t glued to your computer the past few weeks, you may have missed some of these so listen carefully and plan your upcoming gaming adventures. Rich and Nick will be announcing the latest YA Entertainment contest winner and the 5 winners for the Beck contest, alone with kicking off two new dramatic contests. Marie catches up on some reading to get ready for our upcoming release of Gakuen Alice and then Rich and Nick return to brief you on some of the upcoming conventions that’ll be taking place soon. Rounding out this short but sweet episode are some more customer reviews from our online store.
The world didn't end with a bang, but with a whimper. Silently, an "amnesia wind" swept away all of mankind's knowledge. Thousands of years of human accomplishments vanished overnight as people forgot how to use the tools of modern civilization—who they were, how to speak, everything – and mankind was reduced to an extremely primitive level. Two years after the devastation, a young man who has been miraculously re-educated travels the land, and he is accompanied by a strange woman who was somehow spared from the effects of the amnesia wind. They are searching for who or what is responsible for stealing the world’s memories – but they are also being pursued by a relentless killing machine! From the creative team behind the Vampire Hunter D novels, author Hideyuki Kikuchi and artist Yoshitaka Amano, the Wind Named Amnesia/Invader Summer Novel arrives on August 27th.
In the future, a massive earthquake has devastated Tokyo, leaving the city to suffer the ravages of the world around it. But a threat far worse than a natural disaster is on the horizon: Evil beings called the Lucifer Hawk are determined to invade Earth and totally eradicate the human race. Mankind’s last hope rises from the ashes in the form of the A.M.P., a special police branch dedicated to the preservation of civilization. With a squad of elite officers – including a powerful psychic, a near-indestructible cyborg warrior, a mystical Shinto priestess, an informed visionaire, and a new recruit with strange powers and a dark past – the A.M.P. must embark upon a quest to save the world. The battle for Earth lies in the hands of these powerful women... but will that be enough? Find out when Silent Mobius Movie 1 arrives on DVD, with standard and Limited Edition DVD with Soundtrack versions, on September 2nd.
Winning isn't everything in the game of basketball, but who wants to come in second? It takes dedication and discipline to be the best, and the Shohoku High hoops team wants to be just that, but the team only has one last year to make their captain's dream of reaching the finals come true. Can they do it? When a hopeless brawler, Hanamichi Sakuragi, meets the girl of his dreams, she introduces him to the game of basketball. His life is changed forever…and the Shohoku High team might just have their chance! Takehiko Inoue's legendary and beloved basketball manga tips off when Slam Dunk Graphic Novel 1 arrives on September 2nd.
Yuji Sakai is about to learn that there is a whole lot more to the world than going to school every day and trying to get a girlfriend when he unexpectedly meets a petite, sword-wielding beauty with fiery red eyes and flame-colored hair. Shana is a Flame Haze, and it’s her duty to protect our world from the invading Denizens of the Crimson Realm. However, when Yuji gets in the way of her considerable sword skills, he discovers death isn’t anything like he imagined it would be. Can Yuji and Shana work together to defeat the Denizens of the Crimson Realm? Find out when the Shakugan no Shana DVD Box Set is released on September 9th.
Shawne's Specials and Super-Saiyan Savings on Dragon Ball Z!
The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
E3 Insider: http://www.e3expo.com/
E3 2008 News and Coverage: http://www.e3.net/
Gamespot’s E3 Coverage: http://e3.gamespot.com/
IGN’s E3 Coverage: http://www.ign.com/index/e3/2008/
Nintendo :: E3 2008: http://e3.nintendo.com/
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
The DVD Box set for Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad just hit the streets this week, and to celebrate, Right Stuf and FUNimation would like to offer the following five listeners our congratulations!
Christopher W of Uniontown, Pennsylvania; Zachary R of Des Moines, Iowa; Darren L of Dayton, Tennessee; Kevin N of Coram, New York; and Shakera G of Miami, Florida!
Each of you just won a prize package that includes the complete series on DVD and an official BECK wristband!
Next, we’re excited to congratulate Steve S of Hailey, Idaho! You’re the winner of our contest for the quirky Korean drama Be Strong, Geum-soon and will soon be receiving a K-drama goody bag from YA Entertainment that includes the first box set of the series, plus a copy of Korean Drama Classics, Vol. 1!
Also, Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment are excited to offer fans a chance to check out Emma: A Victorian Romance – Season 1 with our new contest! Five lucky winners will receive a preview disc that features the first three episodes of the historical romance’s first season! To find our more about the series, visit emma.rightstuf.com, and to enter the contest, check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com – before August 28th. We’ll announce the winners during episode 74 of Anime Today!
What if, in an alternate, present-day reality, Korea still had a monarchy, and its aloof Crown Prince was forced into an arranged marriage with a spunky commoner? The Korean manwha Goong is so popular that it was made into a live-action TV series, and it’s now available to Western audiences! YA Entertainment and Right Stuf are teaming up to give one lucky winner a K-drama goody bag that contains the 24-episode DVD box set, known as Palace, plus a copy of Korean Drama Classics, Vol. 1, which features the first episodes of My Lovely Sam-Soon, Stairway to Heaven and Damo: The Undercover Lady Detective!
To enter – and find out more about Palace – check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com – before August 14th. We’ll announce the winners during the next episode of Anime Today!
Marie's Spotlight: Gakuen Alice
One of the neat things about working for Right Stuf is that I’m usually pretty excited by our license announcements, either because I’ve already read and liked the manga or it was a license rescue of something I’m a fan of. However, I do have to admit that when I first heard we’d picked up Gakuen Alice my reaction was more along the lines of “Is that that manga Tokyopop keeps sending out flyers for?” (The answer is yes, if you’re wondering.) So I took along the first couple volumes to read on the plane to Anime Expo. By the time I landed in Los Angeles, I was mentally running through a list of possible vendors that might have volume three before remembering that I actually work for one of those vendors, so I think you can guess that I’m excited about the license now.
Ten-year-old Mikan’s best friend in the whole world is Hotaru, but she’s just learned that Hotaru is transferring to Alice Academy in Tokyo and leaving Mikan behind – today. Even worse, the academy is rumored to be exclusively for geniuses. While inventive Hotaru will fit right in, there’s no way Mikan could ever, say, follow her and get accepted into the school herself. Except, of course, that’s exactly what Mikan does. But once she’s there, Mikan discovers that Alice Academy isn’t so much for a school for geniuses as it is a top-secret school run by the government to groom children with special abilities called “Alices.” An Alice is any kind of magical talent, from a supernatural gift with inventions to telepathic mind reading, and everyone at the academy has one… Everyone, that is, except Mikan, who doesn’t even know why the teachers admitted her. And now that she’s in the academy, she can’t get out – literally.
If Kodocha was a cute, hyperactive version of Marmalade Boy, then Gakuen Alice is a positively adorable, manic version of Kodocha. It’s so adorable, it even borrows Koge-Donbo’s flair for putting the cutest hats on the most unlikely characters. But Gakuen Alice isn’t all sunshine and roses. Since the action takes place at a magical academy, you can insert your own Harry Potter comparison here, but rest assured that Snape has nothing on some of these teachers. Dolores Umbridge, on the other hand, would fit right in. Dungeons, psychological torture, and a perfect willingness to straight-out lie to ten-year-olds are all on the menu – “for their own good,” of course. Mikan still tries to make the best of things, but cheerful games of dodgeball are intercut with glimpses of tragedy and trauma that would be cruel even for an adult, let alone grade schoolers. Think of the way the tragic pathos of Fruits Basket weaves itself into that initially sunny series and you’ll have a good idea of where this is going.
Despite the fantasy setting and intentionally over-the-top comedy, the characters stand out as feeling remarkably real. Some are genuinely quite frightening and creepy while others are surprisingly kind and well-adjusted, and a rather large number are just trying to cope using any tactic they can. These characters don’t merely have silly characters flaws designed to garner sympathy or laughs, but have genuine problems – which is to be expected, considering the environment they now find themselves in and the amount of power some of them have. On top of that, the kids, while naturally acting a little bit beyond their years for the purposes of the story, still very much act and resemble real kids.
The academy isn’t just a building, but a huge, walled-in campus complete with forests and shops, and for all its faults, it’s indisputably a magical place, both literally and figuratively. When it’s not actively trying to kill or maim the cast, it’s also a remarkably fun one – and, okay, sometimes it’s fun even while trying to kill and maim students, like when the homicidal Mr. Bear, an axe-wielding teddy bear who lives in the deadly Northern Woods, takes a rather strong disliking to Mikan. The setting is solidly built as well. There’s a handy map of the grounds included in the back of each volume, so you always know where the action is taking place in relation to everything else, and the explanation of the different types of Alices reminds me of Hunter x Hunter’s easy-to-grasp spiritual energy system. Once the rules and setting are in place, manga-ka Tachibana Higuchi pokes and prods at each piece, seeing what would happen if this character did that, and then this other character found out, and so on. Because the world of Gakuen Alice feels so real despite its fantastical nature, it’s easy to suspend disbelief and engross yourself in the story no matter how odd the situation.
I went into Gakuen Alice not knowing quite what to expect except perhaps something akin to Harry Potter. In fact, just like Harry Potter, Gakuen Alice turned out to have everything I look for a series: an array of well-rounded characters covering every facet of the good, evil, and “I-just-wants-to-be-friends-with-a-rabbit” spectrum, solid world building, enough trauma to keep the drama rolling, and an ever-present sense of wonder. I still haven’t seen the anime yet (though I can tell you Emma season two’s looking pretty good), but if the manga’s anything to go by, those DVDs can’t come out soon enough.
What our customers are saying
This episode features music from:
00:00 --- 07. next revel musik
01:54 --- 03. dub grind
06:19 --- 05. hades (ver.3.0.1)
08:31 --- 04. acid drive
17:57 --- 02. deep
21:55 --- 02. deep
28:00 --- 01. search for the light
33:06 --- 06. planet tech