Monday, August 29, 2011

:anime: Ani-Journal (BETA) - For August 29, 2011

Back in June, I hinted at some new things I had planned for HD, and this was one of them (though not the "new segment" I was referring to, so I guess you can consider this as one of those "surprises"… ;) ). I'm still debating over the exact format (hence the "BETA" tag), so please bear with me as I experiment with it over time.

"Ani-Journal" is basically my collection of thoughts on my current anime viewings and whatever going-ons are happening in the industry, as well as any other miscellaneous things (i.e. newly-purchased releases, anime-related commentary). I have been mulling over something like this for a while now, where I can cover a variety of topics and subject matters in short form and be a little more frank and informal than usual. It's sort of like a cross between "Anime Kibbles 'n' Bits" of old, HD's Twitter feed, and the more formal postings here, but in bite-sized and easily digestible form. It isn't a replacement of the latter by any means, just a little something on the side (think of it as the "lounge room" of HD… ;D ). There is no set schedule of when new entries appear, they just pop-up whenever they do, like a GAINAX reference or a loli scene in a Shinbo/SHAFT show. I'm strongly considering a boxing version (a revamped "Boxing Bits"?), and/or just a melding both into a central feature along HD's topical guidelines, but that'll come at another time. But anyways…

Thursday, August 18, 2011

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Rurouni Kenshin OVA: Trust & Betrayal (Tsuioku-hen)

© N. Watsuki / Shueisha, Fuji-TV, Aniplex Inc.

I originally had something different planned for this month's pick, but when a work such as this becomes available, you've got to change plans…

Rurouni Kenshin OVA: Trust & Betrayal (Tsuioku-hen)

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free]: niconico
Picture Source: Edited from Aniplex USA's Facebook page

Ever since debuting in 1999, the four-part prequel OVA to Rurouni Kenshin, Trust & Betrayal (Tsuioku-hen), has, statistically, been the highest-rated anime of all-time (according to the two most notable anime databases at Anime News Network and (although it was 2nd behind the classic Legend of the Galatic Heroes on MAL around its height)). More than Cowboy Bebop, more than Neon Genesis Evangelion, more than any of Hayao Miyazaki's or Ghibli's films--obviously, it is no small feat, and for the better part of the decade that followed, it held that distinction in the face of other strong contenders: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, Mushi-Shi, Bakemonogatari (the best-selling anime of the decade), FLCLMillennium Actress, and even the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away. It has since yielded that title to some more recent and well-known titles in the last few years, such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, CLANNAD: After Story, and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, though with the current generation of newer, younger fans growing up in an age of increased Internet access--and with that, a quicker and easier access to anime--and a bigger fanbase, in general, than circa 1999, it is perhaps not too surprising, especially when you also consider that those three (including current MAL front-runner Gintama') all came from recent, more relevant, and very popular franchises.