Burakku Kin’youbi Anime 12.19.03

The column, “Burakku Kin’youbi Anime”, means simply “Black Friday Anime”. Every Friday, I’ll take a look at the world of Japanese animation and comics (anime and manga) in hopes of getting more people to love it the way I do.

~Introduction~
Before I begin the column itself, I wanted to apologize for the quality of my debut Burakku column last week. I don’t like to apologize for my work, considering it’s unpaid and done with my free time (which I currently have a lot of), but I feel it is necessary.

There were many flaws in the column, the least of which was content and the most of which was the abuse of the Japanese language. To put it simply, I rushed the column. I wanted it done, and at the time, I didn’t care about the quality. Because of that, the content was severely lacking. In addition, I looked up some Japanese words in an online dictionary and just slapped them in without thinking of CHECKING with anyone first to see if it was the correct usage, or even the correct words.

Because of these errors, I am simply going to remove the use of Japanese in the column, because quite simply, I don’t speak a lick of it, except what I’ve learned from anime. And that isn’t much. I’ll keep the title though, even though it may be incorrect usage. Though I did more research on it, and found that the usage of the word “burakku” could be used in that manner, it still may not be correct. But I’m going to stick with it because I like it and because that’s what’s set in the system. But the rest is gone. I don’t think it did anything for the column anyway.

As far as content goes, I’m now getting press releases from several companies, and will hopefully be getting more soon, so I can keep you updated on a weekly basis of future releases and things of that nature. In addition, I have a new guest columnist who will be stopping by every week to give you a different spin on anime than I do. So here’s the news. I hope this column is much better than the last.


~News~

VIZ Takahashi Holiday Items

VIZ, LLC has given us some information on several great items that they feel will be great for holiday gifts:
-The Inu Yasha Special Limited Edition Set 1, with an MSRP of $49.98, is limited to a release of 15,000 copies, and will include the first 3 discs (9 episodes), a 2004 Inu Yasha calendar that isn’t available elsewhere, an Inu Yasha mini-poster, Inu Yasha collector and glossary cards, and a display case.
-An alternative for Inu Yasha fans would be the Inu Yasha Action Pack, which contains the first two graphic novels, the first DVD, a mini-poster and a display case. With an MSRP of $39.98, it will be available in Borders and Walden Books stores throughout the holidays, and will go on sale in other retailers in 2004.
Ranma Forever, the seventh and final season of the hit Ranma 1/2 series is available in box set form for an MSRP of $119.98, and contains all 25 episodes from the season, footage from the 2003 Anime Expo “Farewell to Ranma Party”, as well as voice actor interviews.
-The second season of Maison Ikkoku, from the maker of Ranma, is also available and has 12 episodes for an MSRP of $49.98.

What we have here, folks, is a lot of Rumiko Takahashi goodness. These are some must buy items, especially the final season of Ranma, and Maison Ikkoku. Come on people, VIZ finally heard your pleas to release Miason on DVD, so don’t let them down!

VIZ Watase Holiday Items

There is another great series that would make a great stocking stuffer this year. It’s one of my wife’s personal favorites as well. It’s Ceres: Celestial Legend. There are going to be two collector’s editions released: one with the first half of the season, and the other with the second half. The first volume is titled Reincarnation and the second is called Ascension. Both feature sleave designs by the creator, Yu Watase (the creator of Fushigi Yugi as well), an interview with Watase, line art and character profiles. The two volumes with retail for $49.98 each.

This is an excellent series, if only because it’s so messed up. It’s a shoujo anime, but the story is very bizarre at times, and there is quite a bit of violence, so even a guy could get to like it. I know I did. It’s a pity I already have the first release of the 8 discs, otherwise I’d pick this up in a heartbeat.

Rising Stars of Manga

Tokyopop is hosting their third Rising Stars of Manga contest, wherein a lucky artist/writer can get their 15-20 page work published in a Tokyopop anthology. One of the winners in a previous contest, Lindsay Cibos, has reaped the rewards by getting her own manga series called “Peach Fuzz”. The competition starts on New Year’s Day, and ends on March 15. For more information and how to enter, visit Tokyopop’s Website.

Manga in Walmart

That’s right, folks. You read that correctly. Tokyopop is giving Walmart (aka Wally-World) a test drive of sorts. They are selling manga at 100 outlets across the country during the holiday season to see how well they do. One would assume that if it sells well, they will sell them in most, if not all Walmarts, and from that we can also assume that more manga companies will start selling in America’s biggest discount store chain. It was also said that Toykopop has also started (or will start) selling their manga at Best Buy, Fred Meyer, ShopKo, and New England’s Stop and Shop.
Credit: Anime News Network

Critical Mass Announces Love Doll Vol. 1 (Hentai)

For those adults who are in to Hentai, the folks at Critical Mass are about to release a new show called Love Doll. The story is an interesting one. A girl named Rachel is orphaned, and is taken in by a convent, but once she gets older, the convent starts to use her for sexual reasons. She makes a friend in Beth, and meets her “Prince Charming” Andrew, and is saved by her uncle, only to find out he wants to train her to be a love doll! Ummm, yea. It’s definitely out there, even for hentai. Love Doll Vol. 1: Prince Charming will be available on 2/10/04 for an MSRP of $24.95.


~New Releases~

December 16

TITLE
STUDIO
MSRP
BUY TSRI
BUY ACS
Beyblade #6
Geneon
$19.98
$17.98
$15.98
City Hunter TV Season 4
ADV
$44.95
$40.48
$33.98
Genma Wars Collection Box Set
Media Blasters
$39.95
$35.96
$29.98
Hibane Renmei Vol. #3
Geneon
$29.98
$26.98
$23.98
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi Vol. #1 (w/ box)
ADV
$39.98
$35.98
$29.98
Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful Vol. #3
Geneon
$29.98
$26.98
$23.98
Mao-Chan Vol. #2
Geneon
$29.98
$26.98
$23.98
Mirage of Blaze Vol. #4
Media Blasters
$24.95
$22.46
$23.98
Sadamitsu the Destroyer Vol. #1
Media Blasters
$29.95
$26.96
$23.98
Samurai Deeper Kyo Vol. #4
Media Blasters
$29.95
$26.98
$23.98
Sugar Vol. #5
Geneon
$29.98
$26.98
$23.98

Note: In the above table, TSRI stands for The Right Stuf International and ACS stands for Robert’s Anime Corner Store. (H) means Hentai, so Adults Only on those!


~Tiger’s Den~
Tiger’s Den is a guest commentary by Matt Shoemaker. He’s going to help me out by giving you a different view of anime besides just my own. So take it away, Matt!

Tiger’s Den: 12-15-03

“What up ya’ll. Welcome to the show. I’m Shaggy, like ya don’t f*ckin’ know.”
– Insane Clown Posse, “The Shaggy Show”

Welcome to the Tiger’s Den. My name is Matt, and I’m here contributing to Burakku Kin’youbi Anime. I’m also here to rant my own little pieces here and there when I’m not talking about anime. For those of you who don’t know why I choose the name Tiger, I am an avid fan of Bloody Roar, and my favorite characters are Long and Shenlong, the tiger characters.

First thing’s first. I am planning on writing my own little column to contribute here, to see if someone will post it for me. I wanna get my name out a bit, because I want feedback to see how my writing is. I’m applying for a job next chance I get, so I wanna be as good as I can. Look for it in the near future. It’ll probably be in the Lifestyle section of Black.

Anime time! Right now, I’m shuffling through my deck of Yu Gi Oh cards, looking at what my friend added for me today to help me crush a kid at school. I’m currently ranked fourth out of 6. I’m in the mood for posting a deck list, for anyone who follows.

My version of a Jinzo Beatdown Deck:
This is just as they appear in the deck:

1x Jinzo
1x Dimensional Warrior
1x The Fiend Megacyber
1x Trap Hole
2x Mask of Darkness
1x Guardian Sphinx
1x Goblin Attack Force
1x Dark Blade
1x Monster Reborn
1x Seven Tools of the Bandit
1x Harpies Feather Duster
1x Fusion Sword Murasame Blade
1x Millennium Shield
1x United We Stand
1x Horn of Heaven
1x Prohibition
1x Tribute Doll
1x Freed the Matchless General
1x Pot of Greed
3x Vorse Raider
1x Polymerization
1x Warrior Dai Grepher
1x Spirit Ryu
1x Bottomless Trap Hole
1x Mirror Force
1x Shift
1x Exiled Force
1x Magician of Faith
1x Axe of Despair
1x Dimensionhole
1x Forced Ejection Pod
1x Reinforcement of the Army
1x Valkyrion the Magna Warrior
1x Magic Jammer
2x Drop Off
1x Limiter Removal
1x Blast With Chain
1x Offerings to the Doomed
1x Tribe Infecting Virus
1x Swords of Revealing Light
1x Tribute to the Doomed
1x Suijin
1x Deck Destruction Virus of Death- Crush Card
1x Nobleman of Crossout
1x Kaiser Coliseum
1x Raigeki Break
1x Kunai with Chain
1x Alpha the Magnet Warrior
1x Beta the Magnet Warrior
1x Gamma the Magnet Warrior
1x Rope of Life
1x Change of Heart
1x Ryu Senshi

Well, there you have it. My deck. Anyone wanna take me on, I’ll find a way to duel you online or something.

Moving on. It’s Monday night as I type this, I’m watching Inuyasha. The confrontation between Inuyasha and Naraku is taking place, and I couldn’t be more bored. The only good shit on this show is the action. And the end song for the first season. The song is called “My Will” by dream. That’s the song that I feel represents the bond between me and the girl I love. I’m 16 years old, and in love. I dunno if it really is love, but it sure as hell feels like it, and I hope it is. I wanna spend the rest of my life with this girl.

Moving on, I’ve been watching the one Trigun DVD I have over and over again. It’s three episodes of the Gung Ho Guns series. I’ve basically memorized the first episode from having watched it so many times, but oh well.

I recently learned from a magazine that there are tons of anime conventions coming up soon. Unfortunately my friend holds the magazine as we speak, so as soon as I get it back I’ll post the upcoming dates, and also a review of the Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz manga book. Should be sometime in the next few columns.

“I’ll slit you from head to toe to show you what malice means.”
– Inuyasha

I’ve been into anime for a few years, and over the past year, my love for it has grown even more. I’m subscribed to Newtype USA magazine, and Shonen Jump comics. I have ends upon ends of DVDs on hold to buy because I currently don’t have enough money.

Before I begin, I figure I’d let you know what I’m mainly gonna be writing about.

Top 10:

1. Inuyasha
2. Trigun
3. Cowboy Bebop
4. Gundam Wing
5. Shaman King
6. Rurouni Kenshin
7. Bubblegun Crisis
8. dotHack/Sign
9. Yu-Gi-Oh (Manga is good, plus I play the card game)
10.Naruto

Well, that’s mostly what I’m gonna be writing about. My guest columns will include reviews of DVDs, 411 style, and reviews of TV shows, though only of some shows. Also, my opinions on episodes of the week in anime. I hope you all look forward to my guest column here, and keep a look out for me. I’m applying for a job next opening, and I want feedback, so I can make my writing good enough to make the cut here at this damn good website.

Well, for now, that concludes this week’s Tiger’s Den. Hope you like this section. Send feedback to me or to Lee, let us know what you think.

Thanks Matt. It’ll be great to read more from you. For those of you who aren’t aware, Matt also writes Transformer reviews for Lord Elohim over on 411Figures. It’ll be great working with him, because anybody who quotes ICP can’t be bad.


~Bargains~
It’s your favorite time of the week! In case you aren’t aware, there are two online retailers that I shill for relentlessly: The Right Stuff (TSRI) and Robert’s Anime Corner Store (ACS). These two sites are the best sites as far as design, prices and service. I’ve used them both frequently, and have never been dissatisfied with either.

For the real penny pinchers out there, I’ll break it down for you. ACS typically has prices that are a little bit lower than TSRI, but TSRI is cheaper when you pre-order, not to mention their weekly bargains and their Got Anime? Discount. TSRI may actually be cheaper in the long run, but I’ve been a long time shopper with ACS, and of the two, their site is designed better (in my opinion). I suggest trying both, because both have good things to offer.

This week, TSRI has some great bargains as usual. First off, I have to mention their Dark Horse sale. Up until Christmas Eve (December 24th), you can get 33% off of all Dark Horse products. Just use the coupon code stockings when you order. As always, this stacks on top of the Got Anime Discount.

The have another general special of the week, this one being that if you buy at least $275 worth of items, you can get $19 off. This one also ends on the 24th, and the coupon code is newsletter6303.

Here are the bargains for this week:
Arc The Lad Series – Regularly $179.70, Sale Price $59.99
24 episodes on 6 discs. A must for any fan of the games, since it’s based on Arc the Lad II.

Nadia: Secret of Blue Water Complete – Regularly $389.37, Sale Price $159.99
This is a great bargain, considering it contains all 10 DVDs of the TV series, the Nadia Movie on 1 DVD, 3 Nadia TV soundtracks and the Nadia Movie Soundtrack. That’s many hours of Nadia goodness!

Sakura Diaries Bundle – Regularly $99.92, Sale Price $29.99
Normally, I’d highly recommend this show, but not this particular one. Sure the price is great, but consider this: this release is the edited version. This version has a lot of the nudity removed, as well as inferior translation. The Sakura Diaries Collectors Edition however is unedited and was retranslated. The only problem is that it is subtitles only. So if that’s a big issue for you, go with the Bundle. If you prefer a good translation (and/or boobies), go with the Collector’s Edition. It’s only $40.48.

Check out the full list to see all the bargains. And if you haven’t gotten Strawberry Eggs yet, GET IT. It’s an excellent series.


~Commentary~
Horray! Lee is doing commentary! I know you guys love it when I do this stuff! No, seriously, I feel like a slacker if I don’t fill up the space, so you have to listen to me babble. Maybe when I can review some shows, I will fill it up by that. Until then, you have to suffer.

I’m only kidding. It’ll be painless.

Well, mostly anyway.

The topic for today is genres. If I feel like it, next week I’ll go into a specific genre more deeply, but I’ll stick with more broad comments today. See, lately there have been so many shows released that have so much similar that you can’t help but label them with a genre. Genres used to be so broad because EVERYTHING was original, just about. You had your mecha shows, your shoujo shows, your martial arts shows. But as more and more anime came out, it seemed like every idea has been done before.

Take for example one of my favorite genres, the robot maid genre. There have been a ton of these lately. Consider Hand Maid May, Mahoromatic, Steel Angel Kurumi and to a lesser extent, Chobits. All of these shows (with the exception of Chobits) have spawned sequels or second seasons, which must mean they have at least decent popularity. Another good genre is an offshoot of the mecha genre, one I like to call “angsty-teen-who-pilots-mecha”, which could also be called, in some cases, “angsty-teen-who-hates-parent(s)-and-pilots-mecha”. Examples of these types of mecha shows include Evangelion, Gasaraki and RahXephon. These shows are all popular, but none have (as of yet) spawned sequels.

Now, I could go on and on about originality, and how nothing is unique any more. But I’m not going to. Why? It’s simple. Every one of the shows I listed above are shows I LOVE. Not like, LOVE. Why is that? Could it be that I’m easy to please? Very possible. Another reason I think I enjoy these shows so much is that if done well, ANY idea can be recycled and still be unique in its own way. I’m a big fan of originality, but why not go with what works AND be original at the same time? If you can have your cake and eat it to, then why the hell not?

It can’t possibly be as bad as what’s going on in Hollywood right now. They’re so remake happy it’s not even funny. Just look at movies like Scooby Doo and Charlie’s Angels to see what crap is coming out of Hollywood within the last several years. For the most part, it’s all sequels and remakes. It makes me sad, because it makes people like me HATE going to the movies, and I end up missing great films like Return of the King (hypothetical situation, for the record, I’m not going to miss it!). That may be one of the reasons that anime viewership is on the rise, because I know I’d rather watch most anime than movies that are out there.

I guess I’m spoiled now. Having watched anime hardcore for the past few years has shown me what great work can be done when the filmmakers put a little heart in their work. Granted not everything is perfect, but I’d wager a guess that there is a much higher percentage of good anime produced than good Hollywood movies. And it can stay that way for all I care.


~Plugs~
We have our two auto-plugs: Eric S. and Grut.

Ah, what the hey, Pankonin makes reading sports fun too, so he gets a nod.

And of course, read my Games Column. I’m still trying to think of a name, but I’m leaning towards something about Disgaea. Yea, I think that’d be sweet.


~Closing~
I hope you like the updated format. I wanted it to be more professional, as well as less fan-boyish, which is how it seemed (to me) before. Let me know what you think. Also, if YOU would like to contribute to the column, shoot me a mail. And come back next week, because I hope to have a feature on the new Ultimate Muscle manga. I think it’ll turn out well.

Well, this will be my last anime column before Christmas, but I will have game column on the Eve. I’m sure many of you are already celebrating, and for everyone, I want to wish you happy hollidays, and if you drink, drink some for me because I probably won’t get any this year. Who knows.