ANIME TODAY #112: Talking BIOMEGA With VIZ Media Editor Mike Montesa

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Episode run down:

Nick’s put together several great picks from JapanFiles.com in this episode. We’ll have the rundown of them at the end of this episode, and be sure to check out the bottom of this episode's show notes at AnimeToday.com for direct links to the music on their site.

Recently, Nick, Alison and Rich sat down and talked with Mike Montesa. He’s an editor at VIZ Media, and one of his current projects is Tsutomu Nihei’s cyberpunk/horror manga, Biomega. In the interview, we talked about a number of the characters that appear in the manga (who doesn’t love a machine-gun-toting grizzly bear?), Tsutomu Nihei and his other work, and the inspiration for, and the evolution of, his style.

This episode is kicking off with Chad and What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga, and then we’ll have a rundown of our Bargain Bin Blowout sale. “Outerspace” from Swinging Popsicle is next, and then the first part of our interview with Mike. Christy joins Nick again for another Watch Stuf segment, but this time they're not going in depth on any one show. Instead, they'll be pointing out a few of the great deals on stuf we've already bought or are tempted to buy from our new Bargain Bin Blowout sale! I guess it's more like “Buy Stuf with Christy and Nick” for this episode... Rich and Nick will wrangle up all the latest contest winners and then Judy returns from her much deserved podcasting sabbatical with an all new Mini Japanese 101 lesson! Christy marathons FUNimation's two recently released sets of the Soul Eater anime and then recommendations a few more titles to check out while eagerly anticipating the next Soul Eater releases. JapanFiles.com artist MORNING GLORY returns to Anime Today with their latest cover of the Aqua song “CARTOON HEROES” and then jump back in to the manga editing world for the second half of our interview with Mike. Shawne returns to commemorate the vast work of the late anime producer and promoter Carl Macek. While Shawne is speaking, I'll be playing the instrumental JapanFiles.com track “OUT OF SPACE” off the CD COSMIC WANDERER followed up by the electric sounds of porapora with the song “SPACESUIT.” We'll close out this episode with more recent customer reviews from our online store.

What's Hot?

  • Life in Edo era Japan isn’t easy – especially after aliens land and conquer!
  • A law banning the use of swords makes the daily lives of samurai almost unbearable and leaves them with a career choice – either take on a day job or go freelance, picking up any job available for a fee. Gintoki Sakata opts for the latter, but is constantly faced with monsters, business-minded yakuza and extraterrestrial entrepreneurs who make yuppie greed look like child’s play.
  • Find out how well samurai blend with sci-fi when the Gin Tama DVD Collection 1 invades on April 27th.
  • Love is almost always complicated, and never so much as when it arrives unexpectedly. Follow three very different couples – Romantica, Egoist and Terrorist - as they find themselves caught up in a storm of pure romance!
  • See how each relationship unfolds when the Junjo Romantica Season 1 DVD Collection arrives on May 4th.
  • When Edward and Alphonse Elric break one of alchemy’s fundamental rules, Ed is left with only half his limbs and Al’s soul ends up linked to a suit of armor. To regain what was lost, the two brothers set off on a journey to recover the Philosopher’s Stone, which is rumored to grant its possessor with God-like alchemical abilities.
  • Both the corrupt State Military and a mysterious gang of Homunculi are also hunting down the stone, and the Elrics find their quest often hampered by the two groups along with countless other alchemists with power on their minds.
  • Experience the beginning of the Elrics’ action-packed adventure in a whole new way when Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Part 1 hits shelves on May 25th on both DVD and Blu-ray.
  • While lithely running from the Ha-Ha brothers, Sena Kobayakawa unknowingly catches the eye of the captain of Deimon High School’s fledgling American-style football team. So when Sena makes the mistake of inquiring about the team’s manager position, he finds himself on the field as a running back instead!
  • Sena’s teammates are in for a surprise though, as Sena is only able to kick into his “speed of light” running mode when he’s terrified and running for his life. Will fear of the monstrous players he’ll have to face be enough?
  • Get ready for the big game when Eyeshield 21 DVD Collection 1 takes the field on May 18th.
  • Akitsu Masanosuke is a skilled and loyal swordsman who always seems to find himself unemployed because of his naïve and diffident personality. Desperation and hunger leads him to accept a position as the bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of the “Five Leaves” gang. Though Masu is at first disturbed by the gang’s less than upright actions, he starts to believe that Yaichi and the group may not be what they appear on the surface. As he’s drawn deeper into their world, Masu can’t help but be fascinated by the mysterious outlaws he works for.
  • Delve into the world of the House of Five Leaves Graphic Novel 1 on May 18th.

Featured Titles

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

Shawne's Specials and the Bargains Bin Blowout Sale!

Shawne's Specials and the Bargains Bin Blowout Sale!

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

Right Stuf Contests and Updates

  • Congratulations to our Otaku Week #48 winners: Larry K of Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Michael C of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Gary V of Schaumburg, Illinois; Angela W of Frederick, Maryland; and Sarah K of Rochester, New York who will each soon receive an ARIA The ANIMATION screener disc!
  • Also, congratulations to our Otaku Week #49 winners! Kari C of Canton Georgia; Roger D of Gilbert, Arizona; Heather M of Glen Allen, Virginia; Courtney C of Knoxville, Tennessee; and Jasmine C of Cincinnati, Ohio will each receive a Maria Watches Over Us Season 1 screener disc.
  • Congrats also go out to our Otaku Week #50 winner, Harry B of Morgantown, North Carolina. Harry won a limited edition, 16" by 20" Afro Samurai lithograph autographed by Samuel L. Jackson.
  • And lastly, congratulations to Otaku Week #51 winners: Susie D of Wichita, Kansas; Kathy T of Jackson, Tennessee; Edgar Y of Palmdale, California; Eric M of Columbus, Indiana; and Leona P of Milo, Maine who each win a 1/6 scale Hand Maid May figure!
  • For our new Otaku Weekly contest, we're giving three lucky anime fans a chance to win one of three Galaxy Angel Normad plushies.

    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 April 28th. We’ll announce the winner on the next episode of Anime Today!

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

Rental Magica Collection 1 Congratulations to Michael M of Las Vegas, Nevada, grand prize winner of our Rental Magica contest. He will receive a copy of Rental Magica Collection 1 plus a poster straight from Japan. Evan Z of Pooler, Georgia; Jill R of Pennsville, New Jersey; Tim S of Springfield, Illinois; and Nancy A of Mooresville, Indiana are contest runners-ups and will each receive a Rental Magica screener disc and poster.

Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge This month, two lucky film fans have the chance to win a copy of the recently released live-action adaptation of Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge. Based on the novel by Welcome to the NHK author Tatsuhiko Takimoto, Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge is a coming of age tale that features both romance and a chainsaw wielding maniac.

Just visit the contest section at rightstuf.com and get in your entry before the end of the day on May 19th. We’ll announce the winners during the next episode of Anime Today!

And keep your eye on our 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!

Mike Montesa, Editor at VIZ Media

Mike Montesa, Editor at VIZ Media
BIOMEGA © 2004 by Tsutomu Nihei/SHUEISHA Inc.

Mini 101

Dragon Ball Z Kai Season 1 DVD Part 1
DVD | Blu-ray

If…/then with Christy

From the trailers I’d seen, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like Soul Eater. It seemed like a pretty standard shounen series, with the kinds of characters and plot devices we’ve all seen many, many times before. So I was incredibly surprised (and happy) that after I decided to give it a chance, I found myself enjoying the show so much I marathoned the first two box sets in only a couple days. Each episode just flowed into the next, and I honestly was so into the story that I was annoyed each time I had to take a break in viewing in order to go take care of real life things like errands and sleep.

On the surface, Soul Eater is light and humorous - from the bright colors and character designs of the art to the infrequent, effectively employed fan-service. But beneath that glossy layer, there’s an intriguing darkness that sort of creeps up every now. Though I knew heavier moments were likely to appear, I was always a little on edge (in a good way) when they did.

The first four episodes act as a bit of a prologue introducing the main characters, but are definitely easy to just fly through. From there onward, the real meat of the story is put into motion.

Soul Eater’s third box set isn’t scheduled for release until June 1, but in the meantime, fans of the series have plenty of options to help fill the hours without Soul and the rest of the gang.

For those who want to stay absorbed within Soul Eater’s world, I strongly recommend Atsushi Ohkubo’s (Soul Eater) manga. So far, two volumes have already been released, with a third scheduled to hit shelves at the end of June.

Another seemingly light-hearted series with kooky art and lovably over-the-top characters cloaking an occasionally sinister center is Jing: King of Bandits. It’s much more episodic than Soul Eater, so if you’re looking for something that you can just pick up periodically, it’s an excellent option.

Much like the relationship between meister and weapon, Jing and his partner, Kir – a talking, womanizing bird who also transforms into a weapon - depend upon one another for survival. The duo journeys from place to place stealing valuables regardless of the danger surrounding them.

A bit darker at times than Soul Eater and Jing, Tweeny Witches juxtaposes a number of adorable character designs with some seriously dark themes. The cute, fairytale-esque look of the series actually serves to make the underlying eerie aspects of the show all the more powerful.

The very first series that actually came to mind when I first started watching Soul Eater was FLCL - zany antics and unique art all pulled together with an awesome score. Since the license has recently been rescued, keep your eyes peeled for solicitation information if you haven’t seen it and are enjoying Soul Eater.

Do you have a suggestion for fans of Soul Eater? Make sure you head to our Anime Today discussion forums on AnimeToday.com, and make a post in the Soul Eater 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 If…/Then feature, which will cover Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution.

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.

In Memory of Anime Producer Carl Macek

What our customers are saying...

Featured Tracks from JapanFiles.com

JapanFiles.com


This episode features music from:

Animecons.com