ANIME TODAY #99: Previewing the EUREKA SEVEN Movie With Bandai Entertainment’s Robert Napton

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Episode run down:

This episode, we'll be checking in with Bandai Entertainment's Robert Napton to discuss the upcoming theatrical movie screening of Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers on September 24th. We'll also be taking a frequently stopping train ride with Kris and Judy as they chat about the latest Pokémon Stamp Rally in Japan.

The tunes we'll be sampling throughout this episode are from the CDs meli melo, express ourselves and WALKING by the all female rock group neglige. A big thank you to JapanFiles.com for letting us feature music from these 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.

Chad’s got What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga up first and then Shawne Gets the Ball Rolling with savings on DVDs & more from FUNimation. Robert Napton joins us next with details about the upcoming Eureka Seven movie and then Rich and Nick will tell you how you could win free tickets to the movie in our latest contest updates. Kris and Judy then find some Pokémon on the Japanese railways and then Rich has the latest convention updates from AnimeCons.com. Lisa Marie has stars in her eyes as she gazes upon FUNimation's latest adaptation of the epic tale Romeo X Juliet. New customer reviews from our online store close out our 99th episode and now get ready for What's Hot!

What's Hot?

Under the charge of a more confident Sasahara, things have changed for Genshiken’s members. They’ve even managed to recruit the anti-otaku, Ogiue. But not everything is sunshine and roses. Though Sasahara’s goal to start a doujin circle and sell fan-made magazines at the Comic Festival becomes a reality, it’s not everything he’d hoped it would be. And all the while, the otaku club is buzzing about Tanaka and Ohno’s relationship, which seems to finally be making headway.

Further explore the gang’s antics when Genshiken 2 DVD 1 arrivse on August 25th.

Like a drug, Yukino Miyazawa was addicted to admiration and praise from those around her. She worked hard to become the perfect student, the perfect girl. But that was before Souichirou Arima. The instant she met him, she hated him. Without even trying, he snatched the very glory from her hands by easily acing the high school entrance exam that should have made her the class representative. To take back what is rightfully hers, Yukino is putting all her efforts into plotting her revenge - but was love part of the plan?

School’s back in session when the His & Her Circumstances Anime Value DVD Collectionrings in on August 25th.

When two girls with the same name have a chance meeting on their way to Tokyo, it sets in motion a series of events that neither could ever have expected. Nana O. dreams of making it big as the lead singer of a rock band, while Nana K. just wants the chance to finally get a relationship off to a good start. The two fall in love with the same apartment and become roommates and best friends. What awaits these two young women under the bright lights of the big city?

Rock out when Nana DVD Box Set 1 takes the stage on September 8th.

Happy and somewhat irresponsible, Jin’s a fairly average teenager who lives with his chiropractor dad and reclusive sister. He’s not particularly lazy or unskilled - he just loves to have fun! He’s got a great group of friends, including the attractive Fusano, who takes her own fighting skills much more seriously than Jin does his own.

Everything changes when some tough guys, hired by his estranged brother Soichiro, appear and challenge him on a day when he’s not powered-up. It turns out his bother wants something that belongs to Jin, and when Soichiro later attacks Fusano, the real war between brothers begins.

All bets are off when The Battle of Genryu Graphic Novel 1 throws down on August 18th.

Small but fearless, Goku packs a punch as powerful as any warrior on the planet. Alone since his grandfather’s death, the unusual boy spends his days hunting and eating and eating some more. Everything begins to change, though, when he meets Bulma – a bossy, blue-haired beauty with boys on the brain. Together, they set out on a journey to collect the seven Dragon Balls and make the wish that will change their lives forever.

Get ready for adventure when the Dragon Ball Season 1 Uncut DVD Set streets this September 15th.

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

Shawne's Specials and the Get the Ball Rolling sale!

Shawne's Specials and the Get the Ball Rolling sale!

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

Robert Napton, Bandai Marketing Director

Robert Napton, Bandai Market Director about new Eureka Seven Movie

Fathom Events: Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers

Special offer! Bandai Entertainment and Fathom are pleased to offer Anime Today listeners and RightStuf.com visitors the opportunity to pre-order tickets even earlier! Visit THIS LINK for the special “early bird” link from Friday, August 14 through Thursday, August 20, 2009!

Shakugan no Shana DVD Complete Series (Hyb)

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Congratulations to our Otaku Week #19 winner: Thomas S of Hammond, Indiana, will soon receive a copy of the Nintendo DS RPG, Luminous Arc 2, which also includes the soundtrack CD.

And congratulations to our three Week #20 winner: Betty H of Huntington, Indiana, will soon receive a copy of the popular DS game, Metal Slug 7!

This week, fans have the chance to win a Yasutora "Chad" Sado Bleach figure!

To enter for this week’s contest – and see a picture of the prize – visit otaku.rightstuf.com for more information and get your entry to us by the end of the day on August 20, 2009. And keep checking back: The next contest after that kicks off on August 21 2009! We’ll announce both sets of winners via Twitter and on the next episode of Anime Today!

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

And finally, Right Stuf and Bandai Entertainment are excited to offer up tickets to the theatrical screenings of the Eureka Seven film, “good night, sleep tight, young lovers,” a new film from the creative team behind Cowboy Bebop and Sword of the Stranger, on September 24!

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 before Wednesday, August 27th. We’ll be announcing the winners during the next episode of Anime Today!

Enter the "Eureka Seven good night, sleep tight, young lovers" Contest!
Enter the Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers – Contest!

Anime and Gamer's Guide

Anime and Gamers Guide Anime and Gamers Guide Anime and Gamers Guide

[Source: http://shibuya246.com]

JR East: http://www.jreast.co.jp/pokemon-rally/index.html
JR Kyushu: http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/pokemon-rally/index.jsp
Recruiting New Customers in Japan - The Monster Rally 2009: http://blog.cyber-media.co.jp/
Pokemon Yamanote Train: http://shibuya246.com/2009/08/06/pokemon-yamanote-train/

Animecons.com

Marie's Spotlight

Shakespeare’s work has been mined for material ever since the bard’s plays first packed the Globe Theatre. Of his plays, Romeo and Juliet is arguably the best known, and even a ten year old could lay out the basic plot. A staple of everything from movies to radio commercials, could there be anything fresh and new left to discover? Most certainly, as demonstrated by Studio Gonzo’s impressive Romeo x Juliet. You may remember them as the studio responsible for Gankutsuou, the complete reimagining of The Count of Monte Cristo that received rave reviews when it debuted four years ago.

Romeo x Juliet opens not with a mere brawl and disturbance of the peace but a full-on bloody coup as the Duke Montague murders every member of Neo-Verona’s ruling Capulets that he can find. The only one to escape is 2-year-old Juliet, spirited away by loyal family retainers and hidden in safety. For 14 years, Juliet, not knowing her true heritage, takes on the identity of a common street lad named Odin, working at a theater by day and donning a mask, cape, and sword as people’s champion the Red Whirlwind by night. But even leading a double life isn’t enough to prepare her for the revelation on her 16th birthday that she is the missing Capulet girl and must lead her family’s allies in a revolution against the evil Duke. Unfortunately for the allies’ careful plans, Juliet has just met the tyrant’s only son, the gentle Romeo, and the two have fallen head over heels in love. Can Juliet still lead the revolution against her love’s father?

Obviously, Gonzo has made a few changes to the story – one glimpse of Romeo’s flying pony should confirm that - but the underpinning tale of star-crossed lovers proves a solid foundation, and the source material clearly recognizable underneath the exotic locale and daring action. The setting has been moved to Neo-Verona, a floating island in the sky, and the tale fleshed out from its original five acts to include a number of new arcs and characters. Some characters are borrowed from the rest of Shakespeare’s repertoire, such as Petruchio, Regan, and Ophelia, who resemble their namesakes to greatly varying degrees, and even Shakespeare himself appears as the frustrated playwright “Willy.” Tropes the bard was fond of, like serial mistaken identities, the play within a play, and a crazed descent into madness, all find their way into Romeo x Juliet with regularity. The scenes and characters from the original Romeo and Juliet, meanwhile, are teased at like cliffhangers, leaving you anxious with recognition to see just what’s been kept and what’s been changed, with near-uniformly good results. This is no clearer than in the appearance of Tybalt or the infamous balcony scene. In fact, this toying with the familiar and the new is pretty faithful to the original itself, as Shakespeare was well-known for taking popular stories and giving them twists to delight his audiences. The only difference is that now, it’s his stories that have become the popular ones.

One addition, however, is entirely Gonzo’s own: the beautiful, sweeping score. Lena Park’s rendition of “You Raise Me Up” in the opening is soaring and gorgeous, and perfectly sets the tone for the series. The score was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, more familiar to gamers as the composer behind Final Fantasy XII and Odin Sphere. He takes his ability to seep music into the setting until it becomes an integral part and applies it with a deft hand to Romeo x Juliet. The score sweeps around the series and folds itself into the corners, prominent where it needs to be and comfortably in the background the rest of the time.

Gonzo didn’t slouch on the animation, either, though that’s no surprise for the studio famous for its visuals. Character designs evoke the elaborate costumes of the theater while still maintaining practicality. Striking set pieces abound, full of crackling fire and smoke or flower petals floating on the wind. Neo-Verona has been fully realized with details big and small, though some you won’t catch until at least a quarter of the way through. From Juliet and Romeo’s family crests to the lurking secrets under the city’s literal roots to full-blown ecologies outside the walls, it’s obvious a lot of thought went into creating the world of Romeo x Juliet.

Of course, none of that would matter if the story it supports isn’t any good. Romeo and Juliet’s tale of romance and woe is told with passion and tenderness, and I think it’s safe to say the audience sympathizes with their plight even more so than the original play. The fleshed-out story means more time devoted to their courtship and inevitable relationship, and the characters' chemistry is easy and convincing. Family and friends prove good foils as Romeo and Juliet struggle to deal with their obligations and sudden leadership roles, and the sacrifices they make as they struggle to overcome the turmoil of their families’ feud with nothing more than a deep conviction in love are genuinely touching. But before you become convinced it’s all mushy stuff, let me remind you of the revolution going on. Daring rescues and natural disasters are par for the course, and you may rest assured not all of the scenery survives intact.

Funimation has gone the extra mile in bringing Romeo x Juliet over the Pacific, especially when it comes to the dub. Not only are the voice actors generally quite well suited to their roles, but their lines are peppered with surprisingly convincing Shakespearean dialog, adding to the theatrical sense of the show. There’s also a rare extended extra included on the making of Romeo x Juliet, which includes interviews with a number of the Japanese staff and crew starting with the director and working on down from there.

Romeo x Juliet is very much an example of anime inspired by theater in all the right ways, with the poignant drama, immediacy and tension of the stage combined with the exotic locales, special effects, and extended runtime afforded by animation. Romance, action, and melodrama are presented on a visual and aural silver platter, and I can’t recommend it enough to any fan of the stage.

What our customers are saying...

This episode featured music from:

  • WALKING by neglige

    WALKING by neglige

    02:35 --- 01. WALKING

    27:36 --- 03. Respect to you

  • express ourselves by neglige

    express ourselves by neglige

    06:16 --- 02. TRY TRY TRY ~ daijinanonisonoki

    30:10 --- 01. express ourselves

    41:05 --- 03. Boom Boom YA

  • meli melo by neglige

    meli melo by neglige

    00:00 --- 05. dokokade au hi made

    07:59 --- 04. Open your heart

    19:41 --- 06. Believe me

    21:36 --- 01. Peaceful Weekday

    37:26 --- 02. love and hate

    40:16 --- 03. Shinzo Bus