ANIME TODAY #109: Previews Season 2 of AnimeTV With Hosts Johnny Yong Bosch & Cristina VeePosted on: Thursday, January 21, 2010
Episode run down:
New Year's resolution time! One way Nick's been motivating himself to go to the gym is by downloading plenty of podcasts to watch and listen to while doing cardio. One of the shows he's excited to have back on his iPod is AnimeTV! Kicking off an all new season, hosts Johnny Yong Bosch and newcomer Cristina Vee will be joining us later in the show to talk about voice acting, their careers and what AnimeTV has to offer.
Speaking of what's to offer, keep an eye on RightStuf.com for Shawne's latest attempts at summoning your money his way with a great new sale starting Thursday, January 21st!
Our featured Geneon music this episode comes from the second Gun X Sword soundtrack, which is available for a limited time for only $5 in our online store. Our featured JapanFiles.com tracks will be cranking up the electricity and as we embrace the abundant Iowa snow fall! First off will be the club beats of cargo with their track “Winter Song” off their new CD MARS. Then well be checking out “Snow, Moon, and Flower” from the electronic duo, FLOPPY and their new full CD Deus ex Machina. If you like what you hear, please think about getting your own copy of these tracks. JapanFiles.com has a magnificent and ever-expanding catalog of legal and DRM-free MP3s for easy download and for only 99 cents a piece.
We're planning a special bonus download before the next full Anime Today episode on Thursday, February 18th. Kris and Judy received a great email from one of our listeners about making travel arrangements in Japan and they will be recording a special Anime and Gamer's Guide just for her! Be sure to stay subscribed to our podcast feeds, which can be found at AnimeToday.com, for all the latest Anime Today goodness!
Chad’s leading off this episode with What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, and then Nick’s going to bring you the three winners of our 20th Century Boys gift sets, and tell you how you can still get your entry in for a chance to win a copy of Manga Studio Debut 4. Then we’ll head into the first part of our interview with Johnny Yong Bosch & Cristina Vee, and find out a bit about their backgrounds, how they became involved in our industry, and their involvement with the video podcast, AnimeTV. Next we'll tune in to the first JapanFiles.com track from cargo and then I’ll return with a rundown of conventions around the US and Canada. Marie points her spotlight at the Moyasimon graphic novels and then we’ll jump back into our interview with Johnny and Cristina to talk more about AnimeTV. Finally, FLOPPY beeps in followed by a few customer reviews from RightStuf.com.
After two long years of training with his mentor, Jiraiya, Naruto returns to the Village Hidden in the Leaves prepared to show old friends what he’s made of. Naruto and Sakura team up and impress Kakashi with their progress, but fighting simulations and games are nothing compared to what they’re about to face. Gaara, Naruto’s former rival, is now Kazekage of the Sand and has been kidnapped, and it’s up to Naruto and the rest of the gang to come to his rescue!
After losing his parents in a tragic fire, Ciel Phantomhive finds himself the reigning Earl of Phantomhive Manor and the head of his father’s company. The sudden responsibilities would be far too much for any young boy to handle on his own, but luckily, Ciel’s loyal butler Sebastian is constantly at his side. And there’s nothing the faithful servant can’t do – from saving a floundering dinner party to searching out answers hidden within London’s dangerous underbelly. Sebastian is almost too good to be true – or at least too good to be human…
Follow along as Black Butler Graphic Novel 1 serves up its first intriguing installment on January 31st.
Miu Nomura once loved to play the piano. As a little girl, the music made her heart soar, and she eagerly shared her songs with all of those around her. Now an introverted teenager, Miu has become too shy to express her feelings - even through her music. Her playing has suffered, and her piano teacher, the moody Mr. Shirakawa, has become impatient with her inability to reach the next level.
When Miu develops a crush on upperclassman Takahashi, her best friend Yuuki is the first to notice. Unfortunately, Yuuki's too distracted with her own emotional troubles: she's fallen hard for third-year track star Takizawa! However, Mr. Shirakawa has also noticed something... a sudden and remarkable change in Miu's playing. Can he help her rediscover the joy of the piano and find the courage to share her heart and music once more?
Listen to the music of the heart when Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl's Heart DVD Bundle Collection lands on February 2nd.
When journalist Minagami Hayato and photographer Kiriko Mamiya investigate a series of bizarre slayings in Otomo City, they come face to face with the Skull Man - a predator whose skeletal smirk is followed by an onslaught of mayhem and murder. But nothing is precisely as it seems in the nightmarish city, where a shocking truth waits to be unleashed.
Vengeance is nigh when Skull Man DVD Complete Collection arrives on February 2nd.
Keita is a high school student living on his own with no real connections to those around him. One night at a ramen stand, he meets a mysterious girl named Kuro and is told the theory that if a person runs into another who looks just like him, he will die. From Kuro, Keita learns of the Doppeliner System and the Coexistence Equilibrium. From that point on, his life will never be that same.
Amid a seemingly unending war between mankind and a mysterious entity, childhood friends Renton and Eureka are ripped from one another’s side when the government suddenly kidnaps Eureka. Eight years later, Renton is a soldier aboard the GEKKO. Through a twist of fate, Renton and Eureka are reunited and must now face-off against the dangerous enemy, government forces and even the whole of Holland in order to stay together. Their bond is the key to the future of mankind.
As students at the Grim Reaper’s Death Weapon Meister Academy, Maka and Soul couldn’t be more different, but in battle against the supernatural forces of evil, they are the perfect team. Maka’s Meister powers are lethal when combined with Soul, who can transform into a razor-sharp scythe at will. Each time the deadly duo defeats an opponent, they grow stronger, and they’ll need to call upon that strength to survive against the onslaught of underworld baddies ready to feed on the souls of the innocent.
Maka and Soul, alongside their fellow classmates, are the world’s best (and last) line of defense against evil.
Prepare for a new set of lessons when Soul Eater DVD Part 1 schools the masses starting February 9th.
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
Congratulations to our Otaku Week #38 winner: Jason Z of Rochester, New York, who will soon receive a copy of Children of the Sea Graphic Novel 1, signed by mangaka Daisuke Igarashi.
Also, congratulations to our Otaku Week #39 winner! Corey C of Orlando, Florida will soon receive a 9 piece set of collectible Zeta Gundam mini-mobile suit figures, which double as pencil sharpeners.
And lastly, congratulations to Otaku Week #40 winners: Suzanne T of Durant, Iowa and Michael S of Tooele, Utah, who will each soon receive an iPhone skin, featuring artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.
Remember - there’s still time to enter our current Otaku contest. For a chance to win one of three copies of comic design software Manga Studio Debut 4, visit otaku.rightstuf.com, and get your entry to us by the end of the day on January 21st.
For our next Otaku Weekly contest, which starts this Friday, January 22nd, another lucky anime fan will win a limited edition, 16" by 20" Afro Samurai lithograph autographed by Samuel L. Jackson!
To enter – 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 February 3rd. We’ll announce the winner on the next episode of Anime Today!
Congratulations to the winners of our joint Right Stuf and Viz 20th Century Boys contest. The following fans will each receive 20th Century Boys gift sets, which will each include a copy of the 20th Century Boys: Beginning of the End DVD – the first in the trilogy of live-action movies – poster, and button.
- Sarah A of Irvine, California;
- Judith M of Harper, Kansas; and
- Jeffrey H of Fort Dodge, Iowa.
And in honor of the recently announced release date for ARIA The ORIGINATION, we’re offering Anime Today listeners the chance to win an ARIA The NATURAL, Those Nightshine Chimes Limited Edition Lithograph. Each print is numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity.
Just visit the contest section at rightstuf.com and get in your entry before the end of the day on February 16th. We’ll announce the winner during the next episode of Anime Today!
And keep your eye on all of our Web sites and the Anime Today forums for all the latest contest information, and stay tuned to Anime Today for more chances to win!
Johnny Yong Bosch & Cristina Vee from the AnimeTV podcast
AnimeTV's current season: http://revision3.com/animetv
Johnny on Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnnyyongbosch
Johnny on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/johnnybosch
Eyeshine (Johnny's band): http://eyeshine.net/
Cristina on Twitter: http://twitter.com/cristinavee
Cristina's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ValliereVee
Much has been made of manga’s diversity in comparison with Western comics. I mean, there’s manga about everything from pirates to tennis to toddler mafia hit men, and that’s barely even scratching the surface. But what often gets left out when playing this game of naming unusual subjects is just how much fun they can be as well, creating wondrous stories out of topics you’d never guess could be so interesting. The latest example of this phenomenon comes courtesy of Del Rey’s license of Moyasimon, which gives microbes of all kinds their turn in the manga spotlight with enthusiastic and charming style.
Tadayasu Sawaki and his best friend Kei Yuki, fresh from the countryside, have just arrived at their home for the next four years: an agricultural university in Tokyo. They’re there to learn the techniques that will allow them to continue their family businesses – Kei is from a sake brewing family and Tadayasu’s family produces the yeast used to brew that sake – but that’s not all. Ever since he was a child, Tadayasu has been able to see and even talk to bacteria, viruses, spores; the entire microscopic germ kingdom. The strange ability hasn’t earned him many friends at home, but at an ag school like this one it proves invaluable. Upon learning of his ability, Tadayasu and Kei soon become the pet protégés of Professor Itsuki, who specializes in fermentation of all kinds, and the more disgusting the better. In-between their “research” for the professor, the strange antics of their fellow students, and freshman classes that seem purposely designed to weed out those too faint-hearted for agricultural work, there’s never a dull moment for the two boys, but is this really what they were looking for?
Unusual schools are a dime a dozen in manga these days, what with monsters and vampires and wizards all suddenly pursuing higher learning, but the agricultural university of Moyasimon easily holds its own in the competition for wonder. Plus, aside from Tadayasu’s remarkable ability, it’s all based on fact and current research. The opening pages where Tadayasu and Kei first discover just what they’re in for are priceless. The characters are just as interesting and varied as you could wish for in such a setting, with each one focusing on a different specialty and, though they’ve all got their quirks, impressively human as well. Really, it’s like an agricultural Harry Potter, except here Snape is a grad student who dresses in leather and high heels even in the lab and Dumbledore is obsessed with fermentation instead of candy. Tadayasu is the boy who saw microbes… and I'll stop there.
The art of Moyasimon is an appealing mix of detailed realism and cartoonish fantasy. The adorably cute bacteria are drawn simply and are easy to tell apart, and their little cutaways about how they transform starch to sugar or cause infections or any number of other things are the cutest lessons on microbiology you’ll ever have. The human characters, meanwhile, are rendered in much more detail, and the backgrounds bring the landscape of the college into vivid life. Taken as a whole, it creates a work that gives off a feeling of being both fun and down to earth, using reality and fancy to underscore each other.
I’ve been alluding to this all along, but it should be emphasized that Moyasimon is startlingly educational. I know, that sounds like a death knell for any book aiming to entertain, let alone a manga, but Moyasimon makes learning about things like yeast production or the complex system of microbes in your digestive tract utterly engrossing. You can tell manga-ka Masayuki Ishikawa is enthusiastic about his subject, and he draws each panel as if he’s just delighted to be showing you the microscopic wonders of world. The enthusiasm is catching, and if you don’t find yourself looking at biology in a new light be the end of the book I’d be shocked.
Del Rey’s put a huge amount of effort into the translation of Moyasimon, and it shows on every page. Where most manga translations might comprise wholly of dialog, sound effects, and the occasional author’s note, Moyasimon not only has all of the above but scientific explanations, little asides all over the place, extra drawings in the margins, and in general text and information galore. Every bit is faithfully translated in easy-flowing prose, and on top of that, there are more extra pages of cultural notes in the back than I think I’ve ever seen in a manga before.
Moyasimon is an enjoyable reminder of the best parts of college, a fascinating introduction to the world of microbes in general and fermentation in particular, and a story full of fun characters in an interesting setting. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in science, alcohol, or agriculture, or even anyone who has ever been to college.
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