ANIME TODAY #75: Interviewing New York Anime Festival Organizers Lance Fensterman & Peter TataraPosted on: Friday, September 12, 2008
Episode run down:
The tunes you’ll be listening to throughout this episode come from the cd Pregnant Fantasy by the rockin’ Japanese all girl trio called TsuShiMaMiRe. If you’re going to be heading to the New York Anime Festival in a few weeks, be sure to stop by their concert at 6:30 on Saturday at the Knitting Factory. We’d like to thank JapanFiles.com for letting us feature music from this CD and the full list of tracks with the times each one was played will be posted at the bottom of this episode’s show notes at AnimeToday.com.
Speaking of the New York Anime Festival, this year’s roster of guests is amazing. Later in the episode, Rich, Alison and Nick will be chatting with Peter Tatara and Lance Fensterman to find out more.
Chad’s back with the hottest upcoming anime and manga picks followed by an all new Uso Deshou mystery plot. Shawne’s bringing you some Amazing Deals over the next week on DVDs and merchandise from ADV and then check in with Kris and Judy with an all new wedding-inspired Anime and Gamer’s Guide to Japan.
Our YA Entertainment K-drama Contest continues this episode - we’ll be telling you how you can enter to win your own box set of My Girl later in this episode. We’ll also be kicking off two more contests where you could win tickets to the Death Note 2 movie or the New York Anime Festival. Coming up in a couple weeks is the New York Anime Festival, and Peter Tatara, the Programming Manager, and Lance Fensterman, the Show Manager are going to join us and give us a rundown of their guest list, and the major events for that weekend. Lisa Marie is back this time, and she’ll be spotlighting the Yu Yu Hakusho Season 1 DVD Box Set. In Japanese 101, Judy-sensei will talk about how to congratulate newlyweds and new parents. Nick and Rich will then return with a rundown of upcoming conventions, and then we’ll wrap up the episode with some customer reviews from RightStuf.com.
The appeal of the unknown is undeniable, and freshman Mai Taniyama is hooked. This fact, coupled with her burgeoning psychic powers, leads Mai to join the ranks of the Shibuya Psychic Research team. Led by enigmatic Kazuya Shibuya, she works alongside a spirit medium, a shrine maiden, an exorcist and a monk to uncover the darkest mysteries of the unseen in this anime based on the novels by Fuyumi Ono, the creator of The Twelve Kingdoms! Battling evil and exorcising spirits is just another day in the office when Ghost Hunt, Season 1 Part 1 materializes on October 7th.
In the distant future, humanity has migrated into space to settle in the Balkan System, leaving behind them a dying Earth. Their parents murdered and their easy life at an end, young twin brothers Thor and Rai find themselves sent off-world and exiled to Chimaera, a hostile planet where only the worst criminals are sent to die. With extreme temperatures and carnivorous plants, it is a world ruled by brutality, and a place where mankind has been reduced to a savage state of survival. The only hope for escape lies in conquering the planet and its people to rise above them all as The Beast King. Boy must become man, and man must become beast when Jyu-Oh-Sei, Planet of the Beast King, arrives on October 7th in a box set that contains the complete 11-episode series.
In the city of Tristan, advanced technology works side by side with sorcery, and people are under constant threat of demon attack. To protect the defenseless, the Magic Administration Office employs skilled warriors known as Tactical Sorcerists. One such specialist, Layot Steinberg, is a crack shot who fights with a powerful humanoid weapon, called a “mold.” But despite his incredible skill at defeating demons, Layot is tortured by the sins of his past, and longs only for death. Based on the light novel series by Scrapped Princess creator Ichiro Sakaki, the anime OAV Strait Jacket makes its debut on October 7th.
Yoma, monsters driven by a hunger for humans, are a brutal scourge that stalks the land, and they have but one foe… the Claymore. Half-human, half-yoma hybrids who possess extraordinary strength and cunning, Claymore roam from skirmish to skirmish delivering salvation by the edge of a blade... for a fee. Clare is one of these sword-wielding warriors, but as she travels from village to village, protecting humans from yoma, she also struggles against becoming a monster herself. The long-awaited anime adaptation of Norihiro Yago’s dark, medieval manga fantasy Claymore arrives on October 14th in regular and art box editions.
It's no fun being a high school outcast. It's even harder when your older sister is the most popular girl in school! Ultra-glam Hana is the ultimate teen queen, but her little sister, Ageha, is just a shy tomboy. And Hana loves being the center of attention so much, she'll do anything to keep her little sister in her shadow. But Ageha has a plan that will change her life. Because no one, not even Hana, can hold Ageha back forever. Papillon Graphic Novel 1, the newest manga from Peach Girl creator Miwa Ueda, flies onto shelves on October 14th.
Shawne's Specials and Amazing Deals on DVDs and More From ADV Films!
The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
SAKURA Comics: http://sakuracomics.jp/
Watabe Wedding: http://www.watabe-wedding.co.jp/event/desc_5351.html
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
For our next K-drama contest, Right Stuf and YA Entertainment are upping the drama! One lucky winner will receive a K-drama goodie bag that includes the box set of the fan-favorite, romantic drama My Girl, plus a copy of the Korean Drama Classics, Vol. 1 sampler! PLUS four runners up will receive an “I Love K-Drama Bag” with sample episodes from My Lovely Sam-Soon, Stairway to Heaven and Damo: The Undercover Lady Detective!
To enter – and find out more about these titles – check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com – before September 25th. We’ll announce the winners during episode 76 of Anime Today!
The New York Anime Festival is coming up on the weekend of September 26-28th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, and Right Stuf is teaming up with them for a very quick contest! Five lucky winners will each receive a weekend pass to the big show! (This is admission to the show itself. You would still be responsible for your own travel and hotel arrangements.) To enter, check out the Contests page, under “Whatís Hot” at RightStuf.com, and get your entry in before Sunday, September 21st. We’ll be announcing the winners early that week and, of course, recapping the announcement on the next Anime Today!
Our next new contest requires you to think – and get your entries in – fast! Viz Pictures and Right Stuf are excited to offer up five pairs of tickets to the theatrical screenings of the live-action movie Death Note 2: The Last Name on October 15th and 16th.
Visit the contest section at RightStuf.com and follow the links to see if the movie will be screening in your area, and then get your entry in by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23rd. Be sure to give us accurate contact information and tune in to the next episode of Anime Today, during which we’ll announce the winners!
Peter Tatara and Lance Fensterman from New York Anime Festival!
Marie's Spotlight: Yu Yu Hakusho
I unfortunately missed most of Yu Yu Hakusho back when it was airing on Adult Swim and Toonami – hey, a college girl has to attend class sometimes. All I really knew about the show was that it was being hailed as the successor to Dragonball Z. It’s been six years since then, and I’ve not only started following the manga version in Shonen Jump, but Funimation is re-releasing the series in inordinately affordable 26+ episode chunks. I really didn’t have an excuse not to sit down and watch the series any longer. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any major plans this weekend.
Yusuke Urameshi is a middle-school punk who constantly gets into fights with the local gangs and is known for having one of the strongest punches around. Teachers hate him and girls are afraid of him, but underneath that tough exterior is a heart of gold – which ultimately gets him in trouble when he dies saving a small boy from being hit by a car. As the narrator helpfully points out, this wasn’t exactly expected to happen, and certainly not five minutes into the first episode.
Fortunately for Yusuke – or perhaps unfortunately? – it turns out that the underworld bureaucracy that governs spirits has absolutely no idea what to do with him. Yusuke’s too bad for heaven and too good for hell, so he’s given a test: if he can prove his soul’s really good, he can return to life. Since Yusuke’s the hero, it’s not a surprise that he’s soon returned to the land of the living. But, there’s a catch. During the test Yusuke’s straightforward nature and killer right hook caught the underworld’s attention; and he’s only returned to the mortal realm on the condition that he serve as a “spirit detective” and round up rogue demons and spirits. No problem: Yusuke’s been looking for a good fight!
Yu Yu Hakusho is one of the most straight-forward action series I’ve ever seen, and of the characters, Yusuke is the straight forward-est. Forget diplomacy. There isn’t anyone or anything Yusuke doesn’t figure he can take on if he puts his mind and his fist to it, and there’s nothing like a knockdown no-holds-barred brawl to settle a disagreement. Of course, when the demons he’s fighting start manifesting abilities like there’s a contest to see who’s the most creative, Yusuke has to get creative too. Though most of that creativity is usually devoted to getting them to hold still just long enough for him to get in that signature punch. I told you he was straight forward. Even his friends are amazed.
Speaking of those friends, where would a fighting show be without great characters to fight with and against? Yusuke quickly acquires a posse of colorful friends, enemies, and, in the best tradition of shonen adventure, even a number of enemies turned friends. You are absolutely guaranteed to find a favorite among them, whether it be vertically challenged Hiei of the Evil Eye, sensitive fox demon Kuruma, tenacious eternal second fiddle Kuwabara, or, of course, Yusuke himself. The side characters are pretty interesting too, especially Botan, the shinigami who gives Yusuke his assignments, and Koenma, the son of the King of the Underworld who got Yusuke into this whole mess in the first place. Every last one of them gets their chance to shine, as the plot is more than happy to give everyone plenty of reasons to cut loose as destructively as possible.
In one of the manga author blurbs, Yoshihiro Togashi said much of his time in school was spent sitting at the back of the class and making up games to entertain his friends. I can’t help but think of Yu Yu Hakusho as an extension of that time. Every episode feels like someone on the staff sat back and said, “Hey, you know what would be cool?” And then everyone else said “Yeah, let’s throw that in!” and they all had a wonderfully goofy time implementing it. It reminds me of exactly the sort of games my younger brothers come up with while making deadly weapons out of cardboard, especially the tournament arcs. Of course you might have guessed from the series’ popularity both in Japan and America, it succeeds brilliantly. Sure, the humor’s occasionally on a somewhat cruder level than I’d have preferred, but then again, I’m not quite in the target 12-16-year-old male demographic.
In fact, I found Yu Yu Hakusho remarkably gripping, which surprised me a bit. Even for arcs where I’ve read the manga, I still find myself caught up, wondering what would happen next. I’ll be the first to admit that, like crude humor, long drawn-out fights are usually not my thing, but somehow I’m still enthralled. For that matter, I’m also not a huge dub fan, but Funimation pulled in a number of their Dragonball Z veterans and created a dub with just as much energy as the original Japanese series, giving it a wonderful Saturday morning feel.
Yu Yu Hakusho was one of Shonen Jump’s biggest headliner series, taking the place of Dragonball Z and later followed by Naruto and One Piece. If you are a guy between the ages of 12 and 16, I can almost 100% guarantee you’re going to love it, and if you’re not, odds are still pretty darn good that between the action, characters, humor, and pure entertainment factor you’re still going to like it a lot.
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This episode features music from:
00:00 --- 02. Lingerie Shop
02:35 --- 05. Tea Time Ska
06:17 --- 07. Fish Cakes
08:35 --- 03. Ebihara Shinji
13:05 --- 08. Pregnant Fantasy
15:05 --- 01. Umeboshi Plums - Big Seeds
36:57 --- 04. Manhole
42:53 --- 03. Ebihara Shinji
44:56 --- 01. Umeboshi Plums - Big Seeds
46:33 --- 07. Fish Cakes
49:32 --- 04. Manhole
50:44 --- 05. Tea Time Ska