Thursday, August 30, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

:anime: Throwing It Down With Yawara!--For Free!

When AnimEigo announced their acquisition of Yawara! last year (hinted at in a rather interesting game on's forum), many fans and admirers of the show were caught by surprise. The 124-episode anime, a big hit in Japan and highly-rated by those who have watched, follows high-schooler Inokuma Yawara as she is being prepped by her grandfather to be a judo champion like him, despite her desire to live life like a normal girl. Recently, its licensor provided another surprise, this time in the form of a free preview disc. The disc will feature the first four episodes (sub-only, like much of AnimEigo's titles) and will be available at no cost to either those buying other AE products or those chiefly interested in the discs themselves (there is a $5.00 shipping & handling fee for them, though).

It's a great move by AnimEigo to offer a preview disc of a show like Yawara!. Though it will cost them, the impact is cushioned a bit by the length of the overall show ("Four down, 120 to go") and the increased prospect of potential buyers. When taking that and the adjustable preorder pricing scheme (more preorders, lower price) for the first season box in consideration, AE should be able to absorb the preview disc costs.

For the occasion, I'll be listing this on HardDoor's Free/Low-Cost Anime Guide. It may not be streaming or downloadable, but it is available thru the Internet and it is for free, so I suppose that it counts in the end. The ordering was simple enough, so hopefully Yawara! will be as good as they say once it comes onto my steps.

P.S.: AnimEigo could have done this via digital distribution, but I guess they either didn't have the capabilities/contacts, or they wanted something more concrete like a DVD, which can give the sense of obligation or drive to finish the rest of the series. Not to mention, it can be viewed and traded at any time more easily than by DD. Either way, I like the idea very much and I will be eager to see how good the show is and how it is presented.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

:anime: Boo for Bandai Visual USA? One Year's Difference...

A little over a year ago, I made my first official full-fledged post on HardDoor on the emergence of Bandai Visual USA, the American arm of the revered Japanese production studio. Bandai Visual was known for helping create such seminal classics as Gunbuster, Macross, and The Wings of the Honneamise (of whom would lend its name to that of the U.S. firm's label), and as such, expectations were high of the type of series and impact they would make stateside. The high-end job done on their premiere offerings, the Limited Edition re-releases of the first two Patlabor movies, and the potential in creating a strong library of titles showed a great deal of optimism for what to expect from the young upstarts in the future.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::08.01.07:: -:The Extended Rounds:- x 3

Three weight classes, three titles (or just two, depending on the last one), three bouts...all in one installment of Boxing Bits!

:Sat.07.21.07: Hopkins Out-Masters Winky
Bernard Hopkins defended his belt successfully against Ronald "Winky" Wright, via Unanimous Decision, in a fight that was both entertaining and ugly at times. Hopkins stuck to his usual pattern of starting off slow in the first four rounds and later mauling his opponents down as the fight wears on. Winky was game and the more active of the two, but his ineffective punching (in terms targeting, as both had identical punch stats per round) to Hopkins' more pinpointed flurries aided in his defeat. What also did not help was the class of Light Heavyweight, which no doubtfully had a role in his sluggish movement and pacing in the latter rounds. Hopkins, a poster boy of dedicated conditioning, looked as if he had become a little too comfortable at that weight, as he had a noticeable belly coming in the ring and looked fatigued by the sixth round. However, both fighters burnt off much of that excess fat as the bout went on, looking more like their usual selves at the end. As much action it contained, the fight itself had a good deal of clinching and holding (more from the champion than the challenger) and the actual combat itself looked less than masterful. If this was at middleweight, it could have been a much better fight--and an easier one for both. So if this sort of action couldn't cut it...