ANIME TODAY #100 Anime Iowa Special: Interviews with Studio Capsule’s Emily DeJesus, Actors Greg Ayres and Robert Axelrod, and Fans!

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Episode run down:

On August 15th, Alison, Christy, Nick and Chad headed off to Iowa City for Anime Iowa. While there, they hosted a Right Stuf panel where attendees were treated to episodes of Aria The ANIMATION and Gakuen Alice. Then, Nick wandered the halls talking with cosplayers and chatting with several industry guests.

The music for this episode is from JapanFiles.com’s Sweet my way CD by China. If you like this episode’s music, it is on-sale for the month of August for 1/2 off the normal price - just go to JapanFiles.com/china. 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.

Chad’s kicking off our 100th episode with What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, then Shawne’s helping you get stocked up on DVDs for fall with his Fall Frenzy Clearance Sale. After that, Nick will bring you a number of Anime Iowa cosplayers.

Christy takes a look Bandai's first DVD of Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens for this episode's If.../then segment followed by Rich and I with new contests and contest winners. Judy then fields a listener question about the different perceptions of reading manga verses watching anime in an all new Anime Today Q and A followed by Rich with the latest AnimeCons.com update. We'll end our 100th episode with a few industry guest interviews from Anime Iowa featuring Emily DeJesus, Greg Ayres and Robert Axelrod. Customer reviews round out the show and now here's Chad with What's Hot in the World of Anime and Manga.

What's Hot?

Amberground is a world locked in perpetual darkness. The only light shines dimly from a man-made star, and over time, the pitch-black land has become home to an infestation of giant, metal-like insects called Gaichuu. The vicious Gaichuu make any kind of travel a dangerous endeavor, and only the brave messenger corps, dubbed the Letter Bees, risk death in order to keep the Amberground’s communication system running.

On his last delivery before a long awaited promotion, Gauche Suede discovers that his final package is actually a young boy named Lag Seeing. Traumatized by his mother’s abduction and due for delivery to his aunt, Lag follows Gauche into the dark, where they find themselves faced with a dangerous and inspiring journey leading to Lag’s decision to become a Letter Bee.

Traverse the untamed world of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee Graphic Novel 1when it hits shelves on September 1st.

While defending a caravan transporting the King’s Seal and a treasure of immeasurable power, Toshiro Hitsugaya suddenly abandons Squad 10 with the group of would be thieves. Because of his inexplicable actions, he finds himself one of the accused, and the Soul Society orders Hitsugaya’s capture and swift execution.

Ichigo Kurosaki remains suspicious of Hitsugaya’s motives, though, and determines to uncover the truth. When confronted, Hitsugaya refuses to defend his actions and chooses to fight against his comrades, all but sealing his fate. Can Ichigo reveal what lies behind Hitsugaya’s actions before all is lost?

Find out when Bleach Movie 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion crashes in on September 8th.

Rosemarie is a princess promised, by her brother, into a political marriage with an unknown prince of a larger, wealthy neighbor. Prince Reynol is a complete mystery to her, so Rosemarie, determined to find out what Reynol is really like, sneaks into the nearby kingdom’s castle and poses as a maid. Will she learn that Reynol isn’t exactly the ogre she initially imagined, or will she find that he’s even worse than her expectations?

Discover Prince Reynol’s true nature when Tale of an Unknown Country Graphic Novel arrives on September 8th.

From the wastelands of the great nuclear war, the legendary “Hokuto No Ken” arose from the ashes. He was a man of impossible strength and endurance, and the master of a mysterious, awesome fighting technique. But before Ken claimed the title of Fist, there was Raoh – a master in the art of Hokuto Shinken, the Divine Fist of Heaven. He was the ultimate assassin, the ultimate warrior.

Throw down with Legend of the Dark Kings: A Fist of the North Star Story on September 15th.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the modern world, ninja fight for control of an ancient, legendary skill which holds unparalleled strength. It’s an odd twist of fate that the coveted power lies within the apathetic Miharu - a guy who couldn’t care less about the clandestine power struggle – until the clashing clans bring the battle to his door.

Struggling to understand the technique buried in his soul, he’s faced with the challenge of choosing sides in order to survive. But when conflict is waged in secret, and lethal ninja hide in plain sight, friend and foe prove difficult to tell apart.

Prepare for battle when Nabari no Ou DVD Complete Series Part 1 slinks in on September 22nd.

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

Shawne's Specials and Right Stuf’s Fall Frenzy Clearance Sale!

Shawne's Specials and Right Stufís Fall Frenzy Clearance Sale!

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

Anime Today at Anime Iowa 2009!

Anime Today at Anime Iowa Anime Today at Anime Iowa

Anime Today at Anime Iowa Anime Today at Anime Iowa

Anime Today at Anime Iowa Anime Today at Anime Iowa

Anime Today at Anime Iowa
http://www.studiocapsule.com/

Anime Today at Anime Iowa
http://www.rikkisimons.com/
http://www.tavicat.com/

Anime Today at Anime Iowa
http://www.gregayres.com/

Anime Today at Anime Iowa
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0043498/

Heat Guy J DVD Complete Series

If…/then with Christy

here’s been a lot of chatter about Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens over the last few weeks, both because of Bandai’s unique announcement and almost simultaneous release of the first DVD and because fans were so excited to get a North American release of the show. Before I sat down to watch the first disc, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the summaries I’d read about Kannagi. Yutaka Yamamoto shows are seldom solely what they appear on the surface, so I was curious as to what I was about to see.

Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens centers on Nagi, a goddess who is awakened when teenaged Jin uses the wood from a sacred tree to create a sculpture that strongly resembles her. Nagi’s mission is to cleanse the world of “impurities” which manifest as creepy, all black insects. However, because of changes to the world, Nagi can no longer exorcise impurities on her own and has to rely on Jin for help, thus leading to a somewhat contentious relationship.

Nagi is demanding and acts superior at almost every turn, but still maintains a certain innocence and sweetness, which makes Jin’s willingness to help, reluctant as it may be, understandable. Their relationship vacillates from ridiculous to surprisingly sweet and back again, and it’s that melding of seemingly opposite emotional weights that makes each episode feel fresh.

Nagi and Jin’s interactions, along with Nagi’s growing connection to many of Jin’s other friends, sweeps the episodic series along at a quick pace – so much so that I didn’t even notice I’d reached the end of the seven episodes until my DVD player refused to continue playing.

Now, as I anxiously await the release of the second (and final) DVD, I’ve been listing out series that I can revisit to make the brief wait slightly less tortuous.

An easy choice for those who liked the pacing and style of Kannagi is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, another of Yamamoto’s projects.

Kyon spends much of the series reluctantly at the beck and call of Haruhi, a dynamic strongly similar to Jin and Nagi’s. The duo is amusingly antagonistic toward one another, and never falls into sappy, saccharine territory.

In addition, like Kannagi, Haruhi at once embraces and pokes fun at otaku culture throughout the episodes – from lightly off-color jokes to exclamations about moé. Those little, meta glimpses invite viewers into the show – almost asking them to be active participants rather than simply passive audience members.

Both shows ask us to get up, bounce around to the theme music, get involved with the characters and enjoy.

Another option for fans of demanding heroines and put-upon heroes is the cat-eared, vampire series Moon Phase.

Hazuki is self-centered and bratty, but cute, and one can’t help but admire her single mindedness at times. It’s all the more amusing to watch her try and command her “slave,” the spiritually and supernaturally numb photographer, Kouhei, to do her bidding. Despite her repeated attempts, Kouhei steadfastly refuses to bend to Hazuki’s will, resulting in a relationship filled with bickering, which slowly grows fonder as the series flows along.

There’s plenty of action, comedy and drama thrown into the mix, along with the most bizarrely mesmerizing opening theme song I’ve heard in a long, long time.

Do you have a suggestion for fans of Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens? Make sure you head to our Anime Today discussion forums on AnimeToday.com, and make a post in the Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens If…/Then thread.

Or, if you want to get a head start on making recommendations for next time, we’ve also posted the thread for our next upcoming If…/Then feature, which will be on Ai Yazawa’s Nana.

You’ll also find rec threads for other potential If…/Then segments.

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

Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

Congratulations to our Otaku Week #21 winner: Leib G of Regina, Saskatchewan, will soon receive a Yasutora "Chad" Sado Bleach figure!

And congratulations to our Week #22 winner: Billy C of Moss Point, Mississippi who will soon receive a copy of the Wii game, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn!

This week, fans have the chance to win one prize package, featuring the first and second volumes of Hiro Mashima's popular manga, Fairy Tail.

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 September 3rd, 2009. And keep checking back: The next contest after that kicks off on September 4th, 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!

We had so many entries for the tickets to the Eureka Seven film, “good night, sleep tight, young lovers” that we’re still sorting through them, so we’ll announce them next week via Twitter and during the next episode of Anime Today.

Fruits Basket limited-edition lithograph And finally, Right Stuf and FUNimation are excited to offer one fan the chance to bring a little art from Fruits Basket into his or her life! In our newest contest, one lucky fan will receive a copy of the Fruits Basket limited-edition lithograph that is signed by the voice actors who played Yuki, Kyo, Tohru and Shigure in FUNimation’s English-language adaptation!

Visit the contest section at RightStuf.com and get your entry in before Thursday, September 24th. We’ll be announcing the winners during the September 25th episode of Anime Today!


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 animetoday@rightstuf.com. 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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Music this episode featured from:

Sweet my way by China

Sweet my way by China

00:00 --- 04. Brownie

02:17 --- 03. Kitty muse on Monday

04:30 --- 11. Sweet my way

08:01 --- 01. FROM TODAY!!

17:01 --- 06. PLEASE...PLEASE...!!

21:21 --- 05. maple

23:23 --- 07. TRIP for something

26:02 --- 08. Crazy Drive Day

27:44 --- 02. His guitar, his song

36:43 --- 09. RICH BOYS V.S. ROCK GIRLS

39:18 --- 02. His guitar, his song

41:00 --- 10. Turning Point

41:49 --- 11. Sweet my way