ANIME TODAY #94: Talking Gakuen Alice (& Fruits Basket!) with TOKYOPOP Manga Editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl

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Episode run down:

As many of you know, the Gakuen Alice anime starts shipping from Right Stuf later this month on June 30th. Tokyopop is publishing the first nine graphic novels that the anime is based on. Our guest for this episode is Lillian Diaz-Przybyl, the editor for Gakuen Alice, and a Fruits Basket enthusiast. We’ll find out how she launched her editing career, and find out some inside information on how Gakuen Alice and other titles make their way through the editing process.

The music for this episode is from’s Phantom of Inferno Original Soundtrack - Discs 1 and 2 from the Japanese game studio NITROPLUS. We’d like to thank 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

Chad starts out this episode with his rundown of What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, and then find out how Shawne’s saving you some yen on all titles from Yen Press. After that, we’ll have the first portion of our interview with Lillian Diaz-Przybyl.

Rich and Nick have the latest contests followed by an all new Anime and Gamer's Guide. Since E3 was this past week, Kris and Judy have plenty of gaming excitement to update you on so we'll be splitting them up into two parts for this episode. Rich has the latest convention updates and then return to the second half of our interview with Lillian as we talk about the final volume of the Fruits Basket manga and the continuing adventures of Mikan, Hotaru and the gang in the Gakuen Alice manga. Christy joins us again with an all new segment on If you like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Then... (dot dot dot). Kris and Judy wrap up their E3 discussion with Nintendo and their super popular Wii and then we'll bring this episode to a close with a few recent customer reviews from our online store.

What's Hot?

Mikan and Hotaru are best friends! (Well, according to Mikan, anyway. Hotaru doesn't seem to care.) Then one day, Hotaru is escorted away in a fancy black car, apparently scouted by a school in Tokyo called "Alice Academy." Crushed at the loss of her favorite pal, Mikan scurries after her, determined to enroll, too!

But Alice Academy is a mysterious place. Can Mikan tough it out in a school where explosions, superpowers, giant baby chicks and axe-wielding teddy bears are the norm? But it's not as if she has a choice, because once students enter Alice Academy, there's no escape!

School will be back in session when the Gakuen Alice DVD Collection arrives on June 30th.

When Mugen and Jin, two solitary warriors with polar opposite personalities, cross paths with a ditzy waitress named Fuu, their three destinies quickly become entwined. After saving the two from execution, Fuu convinces the two wanderers to join her on a quest to find a samurai “who smells of sunflowers,” never realizing that such a road would lead the three to discover things they never expected.

Follow the trio’s journey when the Samurai Champloo DVD Complete Series Box Set slashes in on June 30th.

Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. All that changes when they stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak, a mysterious freak show. Only two tickets are available, so the friends draw straws to see who will go. As if by destiny, Darren wins one, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.

What will become of Darren? Find out when Cirque du Freak Graphic Novel 1 hits shelves on June 30th.

Kazuma is a descendent of an ancient clan skilled in the magical Fire Arts. Unfortunately, his family’s gift seems to have skipped a generation! When Kazuma loses the battle to become the clan’s successor to his younger, female cousin Ayano, he is exiled and forced to live with the shame of his defeat. Upon his return however, the clan discovers that Kazuma is packing an entirely new and powerful mojo that’s certain to fan the flames of family rivalry.

See what happens when you play with fire when Kaze no Stigma DVD Complete Season 1 Part 1 blazes in on July 7th.

As Tohru and the Sohma family’s story comes to a close, Kyo makes the decision to stop running from his fears, and he confronts his birth father. But how will he react to his father's pressure to accept an unwanted truth? Meanwhile, the curse continues to loosen its hold on the members of the Zodiac, but as it does, will the last vestiges of Akito’s sanity and reason slip away, too? With Kureno injured and Tohru in peril, Akito has come to a crossroads…

Discover how it all ends when Fruits Basket Graphic Novel 23 streets on July 6th.

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

Shawne's Specials and the Save Some Yen sale!

Shawne's Specials and the Save Some Yen sale!

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

Lillian Diaz-Przybyl

Lillian Diaz-Przybyl

Find more Fruits Basket stuf in our online store:

Kyo Kara Maoh! Season 2 DVD Box Set (Hyb)

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Anime Expo 2009 takes place July 2-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the following five lucky listeners each just won a one-day pass to check out the big show:

1. Larry H of Rancho Cordova, California; 2. Janine K of Downingtown, Pennsylvania; 3. Symon B of Garden Grove, California; 4. Tish T of Georgetown, Delaware; and 5. Rebecca O of Delano, Minnesota.

Congratulations to our week #9 winner: Emily H of Santa Rosa, California just snagged volumes 1 and 2 of the acclaimed manga Me and the Devil Blues by Akira Hiramoto!

And congratulations to our week #10 winner – Hazel H of Foley, Alabama! You will soon receive a set of manga starter volumes including the first volumes of Gate, The Flat Earth/Exchange, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Yokaiden!

For this week’s contest, fans will have the chance to win a copy of the Bleach: Shattered Blade video game for the Wii!

To enter for this week’s contest, visit for more information and get your entry to us by the end of the day on June 11, 2009. The next contest kicks off on June 12th! We’ll announce the winners both via Twitter and on the next episode of Anime Today!

Enter the "Weekly Prize Blitz" Contest!
Enter the "Weekly Prize Blitz" Contest!

And to celebrate this month’s release of the Gakuen Alice anime and the grand opening of the official series site, Right Stuf and Nozomi are excited to team up with TOKYOPOP and offer fans a chance to win one of four (4) copies of the Gakuen Alice manga that have been autographed by Tachibana Higuchi, the series’ creator!

To enter, visit and click on the “enter the contest banner” just below the site’s main window. Get your entry in before the end of the day on June 30th, but first, be sure to explore the site! You’ll find the new series trailer and in-depth character profiles, plus exclusive Gakuen Alice avatars and desktop wallpapers! Remember: The Gakuen Alice DVD Collection – which includes all 26 episodes of the anime series – arrives on June 30, and there’s still time to place your pre-order!

Gakuen Alice Contest
Check out the Gakuen Alice site and enter the Contest!

The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy

Kris and Judy

E3 Insider:
E3 2009 News and Coverage:
Gamespot’s E3 Coverage:
Nintendo :: E3 2009:

If…/then with Christy

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a beautiful, well-paced, coming-of-age story, based on the novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, though it should be considered more of a continuation than an adaptation of the original source material. The film blends science fiction themes like time travel and its consequences with more comment elements of adolescent life, like dealing with school, friends and first loves. At times quirky, amusing, and sad, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is ultimately very moving.

Fans of the film should definitely check out CMX’s The Girl Who Runs Through Time and Bandai’s print adaptation of the movie. The Girl Who Runs Through Time manga closely follows Tsutsui’s original novel, which centers around a girl named Kazuko, while Bandai’s adaptation echoes the film’s storyline.

Additionally, as I am a fan of sweeping, romantic themes, I was especially drawn to the presentation of the concepts of time, love and consequences that ran throughout the film. If you, too, were moved by those elements in particular, I have a couple of must watch recommendations for you.

Though there’s no supernatural time travel involved, the way Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress is presented makes the “passage of time” integral to the plot. We are shown an elderly, reclusive and once celebrated actress, Chiyoko’s lifelong search for a lost lover through a series of vignettes. While each sequence is meant to illustrate a snapshot of her past, there’s a constant off-kilter feeling as these moments are shown as scenes that she played throughout her acting career, as well. Time passes, but with each additional moment, the question of what is real and what is not increases. At the heart of the story, though, is Chiyoko’s bond with her lost love that continues to fuel her search from one character and life to another.

Another complex story fans of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time might enjoy is the science fiction adventure, Noein. This story, like Millennium Actress, toys with the idea of what is real and what isn’t. Rather than simply jumping through time, the characters leap between time and realities into alternate futures and pasts. At the center of this story, as well, is yet another relationship – this time between young Haruka and Yu. As they leap from one reality to the next, we see how certain decisions they make touch and change their lives and the lives of those around them.

For fans who are looking for a different perspective, our forum members have plenty of other suggestions.

Jason recommends that fans of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’s pacing give ARIA The ANIMATION, Maria Watches Over Us and The Cat Returns a watch.

Artisticdoodle’s recs include Shinkai’s beautiful The Place Promised in Our Early Days and a whole host of Miyazaki titles, like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, and Spirited Away.

To view all of the recommendations, or provide some of your own, head to our Anime Today discussion forums on, and make a post in the Girl Who Leapt Through Time If…/then thread. You’ll also find rec threads for potential If…/then segments.

We love getting feedback, and you never know -- you just might hear your recommendations on a future episode.

Anime Today Q and A

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

Like what you hear? Give us a shout out! If you use iTunes, take a few moments to write a quick review and tell others what you think the show.

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This episode features music from:

  • Phantom DVD (Hyb)

    Phantom DVD (Hyb)

  • Phantom DVD (Hyb) + Phantom Game Bundle

    Phantom DVD (Hyb) + Phantom Game Bundle

  • Phantom of Inferno Original Soundtrack - Disc 1

    Phantom of Inferno Original Soundtrack - Disc 1 MP3s

    0:00:00 --- 27. FLY - REMIX (Vo- Hassy)


    0:05:42 --- 11. LOVERS

    0:22:23 --- 26. A BETTER TOMORROW

    0:42:17 --- 15. CAL

    1:00:16 --- 25. TRAVELER

    1:19:50 --- 02. PROMISED LAND - REMIX

  • Phantom of Inferno Original Soundtrack - Disc 2

    Phantom of Inferno Original Soundtrack - Disc 2 MP3s

    0:07:12 --- 05. FLY (INSTRUMENTAL)

    0:24:41 --- 06. PROMISED LAND (INSTRUMENTAL)

    0:44:07 --- 05. FLY (INSTRUMENTAL)

    1:03:49 --- 06. PROMISED LAND (INSTRUMENTAL)