Friday, December 29, 2006

:anime: Black Lagoon--Coming to Wreck Havoc at a Store Near You!

Geneon announced the release dates for the first two Black Lagoon volumes on April 10 and June 12 of the upcoming year, respectively. I've been very high on this series and am very excited to see it finally show up stateside....only one problem with all of this.

Where is the starter box? (Later, I suppose? How odd.)

Friday, December 22, 2006

:anime: December 22, 2006:: The World Ends...Haruhiism Style!!

The long-awaited opening of the temple doors to Haruhiism is now complete...

I won't go into specifics about the site, just go and explore.


Oh yeah, and Bandai Ent. is really Haruhi's secret US base of operations...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

:anime: 009-1 Attracts ADV

ANN, via the magazine Anime Insider, has learned that ADV Films has acquired the Shotaro Ishinomori-based show 009-1. Being a big fan of Ishimori (as his surname is sometimes written as) and of old-school-style animation, 009-1 piqued my interest due to its Cyborg 009-esque title and the design aspect of the show, whose fanservicy-fashion is unlike that of what I have seen of the mangaka's work so far. Besides that, it looks pretty interesting. ADV seems to be having a ball of recent licensing big-name titles (Le Chevalier d'Eon) and big franchise/legacy titles (Keroro Gunso/Sgt. Frog, and this one). Maybe ADV will pick up the original manga series, as well? Probably not, but it would make a nice tie-in with the series itself, especially as a special edition pack per volume, or every-other-one (not exactly ADV's style, either, but still).

Hopefully, I can rummage around for few episodes to see if it is worthwhile to get when it is solicited.

:anime: Mardock Production Gets Scrambled

GONZO today cancelled its 15 year-anniversary project, Mardock Scramble, and offered an apology to those looking forward to it, though no specific reason was given outside of production complications. The OVA, based on the award-winning light novel by Tow Ubutaka (Le Chevalier d'Eon) and featuring designs by Range Murata (Blue Submarine No. 6, Last Exile), apparently never got past the beginning phase.

It is such a shame to see the show get cancelled. The teaser trailer was provocative enough and it appeared that it was getting on a roll with this past summer's I.G x GONZO junket for Mardock and Ubutaka's other show, Chevalier (I.G) and the website's updating of content. This was perhaps my most anticipated show for a long time, which most likely would have come out in 2008. I sincerely hope that the production will be resurrected or even shifted elsewhere (I.G?), though I seriously doubt the chances of that actually occuring. Maybe we'll be lucky enough to see Murata release a book of sketches from whatever is there of it.

R.I.P., Mardock Scramble...

[Sorce: Anime News Network]

Monday, December 18, 2006

:anime: Haruhi...U.S....REALLY?!

A few weeks ago, Anime News Service slipped a little tidbit that some big news involving anime sensation The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya would be revealed soon.

Well, is this it?

Extra Note: Said "tidbit" reads as below:

12-6-06 (3:47PM EST)---- Haruhi Suzumiya Surprise Announcement Brewing

News out of the Japanese Language SOS email magazine indicates an unspecified
announcement regarding the franchise will be made at year's end.

UPDATE: Someone on the ANN forum points out that said news is more than likely aimed at the something going on with the main Japanese site. Second season, perhaps?

Although, it is ironic that it got 404'd today...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

:boxing: James Toney and...Tae-Bo?

Not quite.

In training for his upcoming January 6th rematch bout with Samuel Peter, James Toney has turned to veteran martial artist--and Tae-Bo creator--Billy Blanks for aid in the preparation and conditioning, though Toney was sure to remind those during the conference call today that they weren't do any of Blanks' popular workout programs. "Everybody says we do Tai-Bo," he remarks, "We do not do Tai-Bo. We do war. We go to war. Billy used to be a fighter himself. Everybody forgets about that and it has been great working with him. He trains me everyday." The former Golden Glove champ has also been organizing Lights Out's diet, cutting out the carbohydrates and keeping him on chicken, fish, and vegetables, aimed at helping the infamously nicknamed "Fatman" slim down. Aiming to avenge his loss to Peter earlier this year by getting back into better shape, Toney appeared to be more subdued than his usual bravado-emitting self, focused on getting back at his younger foe and into the heavyweight title picture again. "The Nigerian Nightmare" is looking forward to their second ring dance, letting reporters know that it will be just the two of them squaring off.

"Billy Blanks will not be inside the ring. When I hit him, everything that Billy Blanks told him, he is going to forget."

:anime: One Piece Production Goes to Pieces...

Ever so fashionablly late, here's something on 4Kids' dropping of One Piece, which was supposed to be posted a day after the news, but then work got in the way...

One Piece was, and still is, one of the hottest titles in Japan, and has held a dedicated U.S. fanbase, grown from the manga and fansubbed anime. Of course, when the anime series was announced to have a licensor, the collective of fans let out one gigantic sigh, as it would mean that many groups would be dropping it. However, that "sigh" was closer to a "massive roar of anger and rage" when that licensor happened to be 4Kids Entertainment, perhaps the most infamous anime company in recent years. Well-known for making extensive changes to not only the script, but sometimes to the actual composition of various anime themselves, 4Kids was the last company fans wanted the show end up with. In the end, One Piece would be no different from any other one they handled.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

:anime: Solty Site is Live! [and I'm Just Finding This Out...]

FUNimation apparently made their Solty Rei site live, posting a promo video on the front page and displaying a few promo downloads and release dates for the show (it's good to see its design stay in-line with that of the anime). I really had no idea that the site was even up until I came across the 1/27/2007 release date on ANN. Judging from the video clips offered, I am very impressed with the casting and performances of the voice actors. Each managed to keep the tone and spirit of the orginal Japanese cast and bring their respective characters to life. As far as script accuracy is concerned, I would be shocked if FUNimation didn't make changes to it. As nice as it is, it is still rather straightlaced, which would seem to be prime territory for one of the companies in/famous rewrites. Normally, I would be adverse to such alterations, yet for this, I am actually somewhat interested to see how they handle it and to what extent they will "spruce" it up.

Regardless, I am just happy to see one of my favorite shows of recent come to the US. It's not too much of a surprise considering the relationship between GONZO and FUNimation. Solty Rei, though not as well-known or popular as a Last Exile or a Hellsing, still as managed to garner a good-sized fanbase. From my personal experience with the series, it is one that features a number of twists and turns, and highs-and-lows throughout; at times wonderfully pleasent and at others, wholly unrepentant. Despite its seemingly average nature, these traits go a long way in giving the show a distinct feeling. Even the music and animation, which at first do not seem to be anything special, do hold their own as the series progresses (more notably the former, which churns out some very nice pieces along the way). I'm not exactly holding my breath for an Adult Swim broadcast, but at the very least, I can purchase the first volume + Starter Box next month.

P.S.: Hopefully, just maybe, FUNimation will come out with a few of those special edition packs like they do with some of their other GONZO series (the Japanese versions looked very neat, with a folding package, a bonus disc, and a little trinket, like a magnet; but due to the popularity issue noted above, I doubt even a similar type will pop up over here)... Also, look out for a few homages to past GONZO series, for those interested...