ANIME TODAY #89: Hitting the TOKYO INTERNATIONAL ANIME FAIR 2009Posted on: Friday, March 27, 2009
Episode run down:
Shawne's back from the Tokyo Anime Fair and he's brought back some great photos to share with all of us. He'll join Judy this episode for a special Anime and Gamer's Guide where they'll run through TAF from the Dark Lord's vantage point. If you weren't one of the 129,819 people to attend this year's fair, then it's definitely worth downloading the enhanced version of this episode so you can flip though the photos along with Judy and Shawne. If anything, it'll be worth it just to see the Dark Lord in a dapper pinstripe suit!
The music for this episode, which is completely random and in no way referencing any of us on this episode, is from JapanFiles.com’s CD bud by Dirty Old Men. We’d like to thank JapanFiles.com for letting us feature music from this CD, and 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.
Chad's back with his latest picks in What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, followed by Shawne whose Locked on to Savings from Bandai Entertainment.
We’re continuing our “Year of the Otaku” contest, and we’ll have the details on that, along with the launch of a veritable "Prize Blitz" that will continue for the next 20 weeks. The Anime and Gamer's Guide's coverage of the Tokyo Anime Fair is next, then we’ll give you a rundown of a couple conventions in the midwest and southern United States. Lisa Marie is spotlighting the Gimmick! graphic novels this time, and then we’ll wrap things up with a few customer reviews from RightStuf.com.
In a town where murders are normally viewed as nothing out of the ordinary, a gang of killers makes waves by targeting the Hotel Moscow – an infamous Russian crime syndicate. The delicate balance of power held by the mafia leaders crumbles as the slaughter escalates into a full-blown war of attrition. No quarter is given and none asked for as Balalaika and her soldiers are forced to recall a time when their deadliest enemies were mere children.
Get ready for more non-stop action when the Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage DVD Box Set bursts in on April 14th.
Gon and his friends have managed to pass the first two stages of the Hunter Exam, but they still have three more grueling phases to complete. The applicants must escape the maze-like Trick Tower and survive a free-for-all on an isolated island before they can battle it out in the final tournament. Will Gon and his friends prove their worth and earn the right to call themselves Hunters?
Find out who can go the distance when Hunter x Hunter DVD Set 2 arrives on April 7th.
They have very little in common. Haine, the "Stray Dog," is a cipher of a young man with a gift for causing mayhem and who wears a mysterious metal collar bolted to his neck. Badou, a hired gun for petty jobs, presents a reckless façade in order to hide a far more serious intent. Naoto is a preternaturally skilled swordswoman searching for the assassin who cut down her family and mentor. And then there’s Mihai - a middle-aged former hitman, trying live a quiet life, but haunted by the deaths of his lover and protege.
Driven by their ghosts - both dead and alive all are inexorably drawn to the "Underground," the dark and dangerous sector below the city that holds all the secrets - but secrets that can only be had for a price.
Discover who is strong enough to survive learning the truth when Dogs: Prelude Graphic Novel 0: Stray Dogs Howling in the Dark hits shelves on April 14th.
Darkness hid the pieces of her beloved's shattered heart and time is running out for Princess Tutu to find them. Using the power of an enchanted amulet she must uncover the mystery and keep herself and the prince alive.
Experience every twist and turn of the dance when Princess Tutu DVD Complete Collection twirls in on April 21st.
One Girl. One Tank. No Problem.
In a world overrun by monstrous bugs and ravaged by outlaws, there's only one person to call when you really need a job done right: Honoka. With a sixth sense for danger, sword skills that are second to none, and a smart-aleck A.I. tank by the name of Bogie, she's ready to solve any problem for her clients. But while crossing the desert one night, she finds a young man alone in the wasteland. It's the first step of a journey that will challenge even Honoka's amazing skills to their very limit!
Follow in Honoka’s footsteps with the release of The Third: The Girl With the Blue Eye DVD Complete Collection on April 28th.
Shawne's Specials and the Lock on to Savings Sale!
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
Right Stuf has proclaimed 2009 through 2010 the “Year of the Otaku!” We’re kicking of this celebration of anime fans with the unveiling of a new mini-site at otaku.rightstuf.com AND a NEW CONTEST! Go to this page, follow the links and answer the question “What kinds of Otaku are you?” and you will be entered in a contest to win gift certificates to RightStuf.com. (The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate and four runners up will each receive a $25 gift certificate!)
We’re teaming up with FUNimation to celebrate their DVD release of Darker Than Black by giving three lucky Anime Today listeners the chance to win 1 of THREE Darker Than Black Starter Sets that includes both DVD 1 and a collectors’ art box! To enter, visit our Contest page in the “What’s Hot bar at RightStuf.com before April 23rd. We’ll announce the winner during the April 24th episode of Anime Today!
We're continue our “Year of the Otaku” in a big way – with veritable prize blitz -- which means we’ll be unveiling a new contest each week for the next 20 weeks!
We’re offering one lucky a fan a prize pack featuring an InuYasha wristwatch, an InuYasha “Sango” keychain and the game Beyblade G Revolution for GameBoy Advance! To enter for this week’s contest, visit otaku.rightstuf.com for more information and get your entry to us by the end of the day on April 2, 2009. And keep checking back: The next contest kicks off on April 3! We’ll announce the winners both via Twitter and on the next episode of Anime Today!
The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Judy and Shawne
Tokyo International Anime Fair 2009: http://www.tokyoanime.jp/en/
Marie's Spotlight: Gimmick!
I’ve long known that just about any topic can be the basis for a good manga – baking, gondolas, microbiology, the list goes on – but even so, I'm still surprised at Japan's ability to make even the most mundane of subjects remarkably exciting. The latest occasion came upon reading Gimmick, in which the main character is the best in the world at Hollywood-style special effects. Don’t worry, he only uses his powers for good – and a multitude of gags, pranks, and other mischief. Who knew makeup could be so entertaining?
Kohei Nagase is Hollywood’s best special effects makeup artist, and he’s recently returned to Japan to start his own SFX business, Studio Gimmick. Sure, the studio’s really just a truck parked in a grassy backlot, but with his silver spatula in hand – his prized tool for applying layers of latex and makeup – and a wide assortment of costumes, animatronics, and illusionist tricks at his disposal, Kohei’s prepared for any kind of job the movie business can throw at him and then some. Whether it be disguising an actress or creating a horde of gruesome zombies for a theme park, he’s an expert in every item’s craft and use, not to mention lightning quick.
But even a special effects wiz occasionally needs back up. Making up the rest of Studio Gimmick are Kannazuki, a talented stuntman who serves as the company’s muscle, and Shiho, Kohei’s manager/agent. She tries desperately to get Kohei focused on work and not play in her quest to make the place turn a profit.
About the best approximation I can give for Gimmick is to combine Yakitate Japan’s incredibly over-the-top parody of serious business with the exciting capers of Lupin the Third, all set on the darker edges of film-making’s glamour and glitz. The result is crazy, silly fun with a heavy layer of the dramatic and a core foundation of heart that can’t help shining through. After all, what else could you call a story about helping a famous actress escape her manager via an increasing number of elaborate disguises and chase scenes just so she can see the boyfriend she misses again? No, not every stunt Kohei pulls off is plausible if you think about it too long, but it’s invariably exciting, and Kohei’s after-the-fact explanations offer enough real special effects info that it’s not hard to see them actually – and Kohei’s legendary skills.
The pacing is also soundly handled. After the first few chapters, spent introducing the audience to the characters and the basic plot, author Youzaburou Kanari immediately begins to play with expectations. Is that blood fake or real? Has the plan failed, or was this part of the plot all along? Is the bad guy really whom it seems? And just when you’re thinking Gimmick’s gotten too episodic, with each arc relatively self-contained, here comes an over-arching plot and new recurring characters. But always, always, there’s still time for goofy - if somewhat macabre – jokes and gags.
Youzaburou Kanari’s story has been paired with art by Kuroko Yabuguchi, and she does a great job. Her character designs remind me of those in the Phoenix Wright DS games, of all things – varied and attractive, but with a down-to-earth sturdiness that’s well-suited to action scenes – and they invariably crop up when things get dicey. She’s got an impressive ability for rendering special effects on paper, and her sets are lovingly detailed, especially Studio Gimmick itself, which is filled to the brim with the organized clutter of an obsessed artist. In addition, she has a solid grasp of anatomy and clothing, both highly important in a manga as dedicated to the body and disguises as this one is.
Speaking of anatomy, I should probably mention that Gimmick is in no way shy about fanservice, and more than one girl finds herself in need of full-body makeup. But despite Kohei’s inevitable and exaggerated drooling whenever the latest starlet is first introduced, it’s somehow hard to be offended. And once the plot is rolling and Kohei’s working, he’s deadly serious.
One-third comedy, one-third mystery, and one-third action caper, Gimmick is a perfect fit for fans across a wide variety of genres, but especially fans of series like the over-the-top, baking-bread-is-serious-business style of Yakitate Japan or, perhaps more obviously, Youzaburou Kanari’s previous mystery work Kindaichi Case Files. While I obviously wouldn’t recommend it to younger kids, I’d say Gimmick’s a great choice for just about anyone over 14, and fans of old movies will especially enjoy Kohei’s endless bag of film tricks.
What our customers are saying
This episode featured muysic from:
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02:37 --- 07. Little dancer
06:10 --- 03. elif
07:57 --- 10. intentionally
11:06 --- 06. rain show
31:11 --- 11. Magic word
32:51 --- 09. Merry go round
38:29 --- 04. pomegranate
41:44 --- 13. Day Walker
42:41 --- 01. moon wet with honey