Winter 2009 Picks

Princess Mononoke DVD Princess Mononoke DVD
Submitted by Nathan, Purchasing

This movie is a beautifully animated and expertly told story. Fans of medieval fantasy will enjoy it for the action and magical elements, but if you need your entertainment to have a message as well, it delivers there too. At it's heart, it explores the continuous struggle between nature and technological development.

Emma: A Victorian Romance Season 2 DVD CollectionEmma: A Victorian Romance Season 2 DVD Collection
Submitted by Nick, Web Designer / Podcaster

At first I wasn't sure what to think when Shawne (Stuf CEO and all-around Dark Lord) announced that we'd be producing a Victorian romance series. And not just one season, but two. But then I got to meet Emma after being handed the first episode screener disc and I have to admit, I was charmed.

The Victorian details in each scene was such a treat. The fashions were amazingly sharp and the whole ambiance of the show was relaxed, yet poignant. Each character had a strong appeal and their everyday interactions, surprisingly enough, were all that was needed to keep me engaged and enchanted.

This second season feels like it ups the drama a notch, especially in the first episode! But thankfully this season rounds out the Emma animated series in one box set for those of us who just couldn't get enough Emma after just one season. Will they or won't they? Go find out!

Kino's Journey DVD Complete CollectionKino's Journey DVD Complete Collection
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

Kino’s Journey is the series I recommend to all of my friends, regardless of whether or not they’re even anime fans. This is one of those shows that, while the art is lovely, it’s the story’s beauty that completely pulls you in. It is thought provoking, unique and perfectly executed. Kino’s Journey will stick with you long after you’ve watched the final episode.

Sounds of the Samurai T-ShirtSounds of the Samurai T-Shirt | Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Submitted by Alison, Marketing & Public Relations

I’m a manga junkie, so I love this original T-shirt design from our Nozomi division. (I suspect it may become part of my “convention uniform,” underneath one of my blazers. :) )

Tsubasa, RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season 1 DVD Box SetTsubasa, RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Season 1 DVD Box Set
Submitted by Mary, Fulfillment

This is a decent video series although the manga IS better. The characters are well developed and there are lots of twists and turns. It seems the further the series goes, the more cliffhangers there are. The princess loses all of her memories in the forms of feathers. In order to save her, the hero makes a deal with a time witch to travel throughout space and time to find them along with three traveling companions. The drama and action never seems to end.

Tekkon Kinkreet DVDTekkon Kinkreet DVD
Submitted by Nick, Web Designer / Podcaster

Two orphaned kids, Black and White, treat the city of Treasure Town as one giant playground. With the ability to jump crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon style, they take on corrupt business men, mobsters and thugs to keep their playground safe from bullies. The connection between these two unique kids is very powerful and their natures are as symbolic as their names suggest.

Animated by Studio 4°C, the visuals are vibrant and expressive and definitely give the viewer a heightened feeling of being guided by a child's imagination. Travel to Treasure Town if you like fantastical action scenes, dynamic child characters and thought-provoking commentary on urban life.

Last Exile DVD Box Set Last Exile DVD Box Set
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

This is, far and away, my favorite Gonzo title. It’s visually stunning, the storyline is amazing from beginning to end and the score is stellar. I cannot say enough good things about this show. The Last Exile world is fleshed out so well over the course of the series’ twenty-six episodes that you feel as though you could actually fall into it through your television.

Megaman Zero: Official Complete Works ArtbookMegaman Zero: Official Complete Works Artbook
Submitted by Judy, Production

Capcom games have always had outstanding art design, and the Megaman Zero series is no exception. Its artwork is sketchy and energetic, with masterful use of color and shadow. It's hard to describe, but everything just "flows"... the pictures capture your gaze, and won't let go. Toru Nakayama, the lead artist on the team, has considerable talent, and it shows.

This artbook features all sorts of juicy official documents, everything from character design sheets and concept drawings, to screenshots and promotional art. It's enough to keep your eyes pleased for hours on end.

Vampire Hunter D DVD Special EditionVampire Hunter D DVD Special Edition
Submitted by Evan, Customer Service

What an exciting movie!! All anime fans must see this. Great story, one heck of an adventure. And for those that scare easy, this movie is definitely for you. It'll get you blood moving! Mwahahaaa!

Full Metal Panic! DVD Complete Collection (Thinpak)Full Metal Panic! DVD Complete Collection (Thinpak)
Submitted by Alison, Marketing & Public Relations

The premise sounds simple enough: Sousuke Sagara, a young counter-terrorist mercenary, is ordered to go undercover as a student and serve as the protector of Kaname Chidori. Except Sagara is as inept socially as he is skilled at combat. And Chidori is far from being a meek schoolgirl.

A lot of series attempt to mix action, comedy and a smidge of romance, but Full Metal Panic! stands out because it mixes the three components so very well. You can’t go wrong with either the anime adaptations or the novels that served as their source of inspiration.

Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars DVD Thinpak CollectionShingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars DVD Thinpak Collection
Submitted by Nick, Web Designer / Podcaster

Shingu was the first Right Stuf show I worked on when I started here almost 4 years ago. Because I was developing one of my first flash sites for it, I would get character bios and episode synopses before each disc was release. Of course that was maddening since I was actually invested in this show as a fan and not just the website designer. I was constantly pestering Judy for screener discs and hints of where the plot was going but being the good friend that she is, she didn't spoil anything :) However, we did have a nice little chat after I finished the last screener disc because I had some questions, most of which were answered when I bought the final volume and read the last page of the booklet (also included in this collection).

Shingu is the story of middle schoolers, special powers, school festivals, aliens, mysterious transfer students and a giant robot-like protector. Mix one part slice-of-life with two parts sci-fi and a dash interstellar mystery and you've go 26 episodes of Shingu goodness!

Twelve Kingdoms DVD Economy Set 1Twelve Kingdoms DVD Economy Set 1
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

I am a total sucker for fantasy stories, and Twelve Kingdoms is one of the shows I find myself watching over and over again whenever I’m in the mood to be transported to an epic and exciting world. I never fail to get caught up in Yoko’s adventures no matter how many times I see them.

Ghost in the Shell DVDGhost in the Shell DVD
Submitted by Nathan, Purchasing

Anime classic. Anything I say here would not do justice to the incredibly rich and detailed story. Any science fiction fan would be amiss not to have this film in their collection.

Shinkai Collection DVDShinkai Collection DVD
Submitted by Nick, Web Designer / Podcaster

Even though this collection is no longer available, both films by the award-winning director Makoto Shinkai are! The first is the 30 minute OVA Voices of a Distant Star and the second is the feature length film The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Even if you don't have one sentimental bone in your body, the sheer warmth and gorgeousness of these two shows should at least draw you in far enough to chip away a little frost from your frozen heart.

Voices was shown to me by my good friend Michael just after starting my job at Right Stuf and all I could say was "wow!" The animation was luminous and the story of how hard communication is in a long distant relationship was heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. And when I say a long distant relationship, I mean LOOOOOOOOOONG distant.

I saw Early Days a few years later and it was just as luminous as Voices, if not more so. The way light dances and reflects in each frame is mesmerizing and details like how streetlights reflect and move along the chrome seems and rivets of a moving train compartment is gorgeous. With a longer time frame and the budget of a feature length film, Shinkai took his time letting this story of three school friends develop before jumping ahead three years into the main conflict. What began as a story of friendship, dreams, airplanes and an insanely tall tower grew into one of war, terrorism, parallel words and of course, a promise challenged.

RahXephon DVD Complete CollectionRahXephon DVD Complete Collection
Submitted by Evan, Customer Service

RahXephon! This is all I have to say. This is an intense story within the anime mecha genre. I'm recommending the full series due to the simple fact, "once you start, you can't stop!" Although this does come in a "thinpak," RahXephon makes a HUGE bang for the buck!

Black Jack, Graphic Novel 1Black Jack, Graphic Novel 1
Submitted by Alison, Marketing & Public Relations

I’ve been eagerly anticipating this series – ever since Vertical announced they were bringing it over – and now that it’s in my possession, I’m even more in awe. In a lot of ways, Black Jack is a great “introduction” to Osamu Tezuka’s manga work, with taut and engaging storytelling that makes the very most of its episodic format and a sharp protagonist who doesn’t fit the typical “shounen hero” mold. If you’ve ever enjoyed an episode of House, M.D., you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Black Jack, stat.

Samurai 7 DVD Box Set - Viridian CollectionSamurai 7 DVD Box Set - Viridian Collection
Submitted by Nathan, Purchasing

Very engaging sci-fi adaptation of Akira Kurosawa classic, Seven Samurai. Being told as a series this version has an advantage of being able to give more time to each of the samurai, exploring their individuality. (Soon to be available on Blu-ray.)

Spiral DVD Box Set - Viridian CollectionSpiral DVD Box Set - Viridian Collection
Submitted by Mary, Fulfillment

I enjoyed this series but I didn't really like how it ended. It messes with the mind on an intellectual basis. This show is a total mystery from beginning to the end. I usually want everything all neat and tidy with a bow but the Blade Children's destiny is anything but that.

Ninja Scroll 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVDNinja Scroll 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD
Submitted by Evan, Customer Service

The movie Ninja Scroll has an incredible story to it. The non-stop action and suspense is enough to keep any anime fan on the edge of their seats. And with the Special Edition, the extras that come with this movie are very entertaining to watch.

Fruits Basket Graphic Novel 1Fruits Basket Graphic Novel 1
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

Twenty-six episodes of Fruits Basket just weren’t enough for me. I needed to meet the rest of the Zodiac, so I picked up the first few volumes and never looked back. Natsuki Takaya’s manga series fills in all the gaps and then some, including further developing a storyline for one of my favorite characters, Arisa Uotani.

Chrono Crusade Complete Collection DVD (Thinpak)Chrono Crusade Complete Collection DVD (Thinpak)
Submitted by Mary, Fulfillment

A nun working with a devil to do God's will? The rich are bored and have started summoning demons for fun? Is this one of those turn your life to God shows? No. This show never seems to stop. What I enjoyed the most is that they tried to keep the weapons based in reality for this show. The comedy goes on forever right along with the action!

Wicked City Special Edition DVDWicked City Special Edition DVD
Submitted by Evan, Customer Service

If there is ever a movie that will leave you in a "state of awe" for a long time, Wicked City is the one! Probably the most twisted, insane anime stand-alone movie I have ever watched in my life! This movie does require an open mind! Prepare yourself!

Tweeny Witches DVD 1 Tweeny Witches DVD 1
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

The moment Tweeny Witches’ opening sequence began and I saw the artwork and heard the score, I was completely hooked. I knew that any show that could immediately evoke such a strong reaction was going to be great, and it went on to exceed my already high expectations. Arusu’s adventure sweeps along at an incredibly fast pace that doesn’t let up from start to finish.

The Legend of Zelda Graphic Novel 1: Ocarina of TimeThe Legend of Zelda Graphic Novel 1: Ocarina of Time
Submitted by Judy, Production

As a dyed-in-the-wool Zelda fan, I'm thrilled that Viz is bringing over Akira Himekawa's Legend of Zelda manga! Himekawa's character artwork is beautiful, and he does a wonderful job of weaving the Zelda stories into manga form - even if you've already played the games, there are enough new little twists and surprises to keep a smile on your face the whole way through. Definitely recommended for Zelda fans, those who like high fantasy and adventure, or anyone who just wants something fun to read.

Wallflower, The Graphic Novel 1Wallflower, The Graphic Novel 1
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

Love it or hate it, there’s really nothing else quite like Tomoko Hayakawa’s The Wallflower. I happen to love the twisted humor that’s peppered throughout the series, along with the wonderfully wacked-out characters. When I initially picked up the first volume, I thought I was going to get a Pygmalion-esque manga, but Sunako is no one’s Eliza Doolittle, and I quickly (and happily) found out that this is not your standard makeover story.

Solty Rei DVD Box Set Solty Rei DVD Box Set
Submitted by Mary, Fulfillment

If you enjoy sci-fi, this is a must watch. The character development and plot keep this one moving at a quick pace. Not every man is trying to raise a strange little girl who fell from the sky, especially a loner bounty hunter. The ending is a total tear-jerker. Be sure to watch after the closing credits (my boys totally missed it)!

Super Gals Season 1 DVD Box SetSuper Gals Season 1 DVD Box Set
Submitted by Christy, Marketing & Public Relations

It is absolutely impossible not to smile while watching Super Gals! From the vibrant, manic opening theme onward, it’s candy-coated, hyperactive, animated fun. It is also pretty rare to find a show that really focuses on and celebrates the relationship between three teenaged, female friends without getting bogged down in the drama of romantic relationships. Yes there are bits about significant others, but the story still centers on Ran, Miyu and Aya and their antics together.

Maria Watches Over Us – Season 1Maria Watches Over Us – Season 1
Submitted by Alison, Marketing & Public Relations

Maria Watches Over Us, a.k.a. Maria-sama ga Miteru, is something really special. It’s one of the few series to acknowledge the social pressures high school students put on themselves without turning into an “afterschool special” or minimizing the drama felt at the time. And it has one of the most likeable casts of characters you’ll find in all of anime. After spending a little time with the students of the Lillian Girls’ Academy, you’ll know first-hand why the anime – and the books that inspired it – are so fervently adored by fans worldwide.

Anyone You Can Do....I Can Do Better DVD (Adult)
Submitted by Brandon, Customer Service

This is the ultimate MILF DVD. This movie explores the fantasy of dating a big breasted girl and then being seduced by her equally big breasted mother. There are some humor elements to it as the mother and daughter fight over the boy, and some very intense scenes involving all three in one way or another. I would recommend this for those that have any kind of MILF fantasy.

Hooligan (Vanilla Series) DVD (Adult)
Submitted by Brandon, Customer Service

This is the most hilarious piece of anime I have ever seen. In it, a guy knocks over a couple of chemicals in his attempt to hook up with the school nurse and totally screws up the known universe and transforms it into a fantasy world. There are several other anime references in it that just add to the humor and quality. I would recommend this to anyone who has a slightly bizarre sense of humor.

Girl Next Door (Vanilla Series) DVD (Adult)
Submitted by Brandon, Customer Service

The second most hilarious piece of anime (or hentai, I guess) that I have ever seen. A young man falls in love with a woman who helped him when he hurt himself as a child. He then dedicates his life to find this woman and makes a special point to save himself only for this woman. However, the young man receives several admirers when he saves a girl from being raped, and one of these admirers keeps popping up in unexpected places for special "surprises." I would recommend this again for anyone who has a slightly bizarre sense of humor.

Venus Files DVD (Adult)
Submitted by Brandon, Customer Service

To me, this title truly explored the dark side of hentai. Two female detectives are trying to find the source of a drug that is being used to sedate women. However, one of the two girls has a very jaded past that comes to the surface and plays a huge role in the episodes. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good action/mystery that has a lot of intense scenes in it.