» September, 2009

Shakugan No Shana – Box Set

Features - by - September 30, 2009 - 21:17 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Is it really time to freeze time?

Shakugan No Shana – Box Set

Reviews - by - September 30, 2009 - 21:14 Europe/London - 2 Comments

Every day we wake up, go to work or to school, have a busy day, go home, eat some food and go to bed. The world is a peaceful and enjoyable place, although it can be a little on the dull side. This was the life of Sakaki Yuuji until one day on his way to school he witnesses the world suddenly freeze around him. Everywhere he turns people are engulfed in blue flames, and it soon becomes apparent that there’s another world besides his own that’s in a constant battle. Just as Yuuji is about to suffer the same blue frozen fate as the rest of the people around him, a red haired youth appears calling herself Flame Haze. Unfortunately for Yuuji she’s incredibly blunt and lets him know that he’s dead and he is now Torch. Rather than sulking or becoming distressed Yuuji accepts this fact and Flame Haze becomes Shana, his friend and their whole new world begins.

The first episode sets the scene for what would be a very typical anime, with a bland lead character, a random character who comes to shake everything up and turns out to be incredibly arrogant and a world that needs saving. Nothing new and certainly not worth even switching the DVD player on for. Fortunately the second episode starts to move the plot forward a bit and throughout this episode the character develop and the show becomes a bit more than the standard “normal boy meets not so normal girl”.

1

From the second episode onward the show starts to take a different twist, as it soon becomes clear that Shana, although an arrogant character, is one with clear moral guidelines and is prepared to upset others to get what she wants. Although throughout the entire series she is very bratty and will demand her own way when it’s not always the best course of action. Yuuji follows at first the usual male lead role, he does deviate a fair bit from this clichéd personality, which makes him more likeable and bearable as a character.

Although a lot of the character’s personalities are a little overused, the plot fortunately takes a different course of action in comparison to the majority of the shows in its class. Unlike Naruto or Bleach the plot isn’t just one fight and adventure directly followed by another, there is character development and whereas characters in shows of it’s class seem to simply change in one sitting, characters in Shana change over time. Not forgetting the very open ended ending.

2

Although the characters themselves are trying to deviate from the norm, the animation style hasn’t changed a bit from any other generic anime that’s out on the market at the moment. The character designs themselves, although unique to this show, still follow the same basic trends as the rest of the genre and a lot of the supporting cast are hard to distinguish without being named by the other characters. The animation itself is of a good quality, with smooth movements and distinct characters from the background. The colours are vibrant and look good, although not outstanding.

The voice acting is of a good standard as well, the Japanese actors have clearly put effort into their vocal and on the whole each voice suits the characters very well. The same can be said for the English cast, although some of the voices do sound a little typical but overall it’s of a solid standard. Just like the music, likeable and enjoyable.

Ghibli Announce Latest Project

News - by - September 30, 2009 - 18:19 Europe/London - 1 Comment

tale-of-the-bamboo-princessToday one of the largest and most well known anime studios in the world announced their latest addition to their ever expanding portfolio. Studio Ghibli today announced that the next project they will be releasing is The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (also known as Taketori Monogatari) and will be directed by Isao Takahata. Takahata hasn’t directed a Studio Ghibli film in a long time; however, he was the director behind one of the most touching Ghibli films ever created – Grave of the Fireflies.

Bamboo Cutter is a classic 10th century tale from Japanese folklore and is considered one of the oldest in existence. A mysterious girl called Kagaura-hime discovered a baby inside of a stalk of glowing bamboo, this baby is said to be from the Capital of the Moon and has unusual hair that shines like gold. She then rebuffs a number of suitors, including Mikado, the Emperor of Japan (who gives up immortality for her), and eventually returns to the Moon.

This tale has huge relevance in Japanese culture and is said to be one of the reasons behind the loved Fuji-san’s name.

Along with this, it’s also being noted that there are three more Miyazaki films in the pipeline at the moment as well.

Source: Empire Online

Viz Media Secure Vampire Knight Rights

News - by - September 30, 2009 - 18:09 Europe/London - 1 Comment

vampire-knightViz Media Europe today announced that they have acquired the TV, DVD, streaming and merchandising rights to the hugely popular Vampire Knight anime for the UK.

Vampire Knight is based off of the incredibly successful Vampire Knight Manga created by Matsuri Hino, this Gothic Romance manga/anime is based around the Cross Academy. A school where the classes are divided into Day and Night Classes. The day class is populated by normal, happy children, whereas the night class is populated by Vampire’s who have decided to no longer attack humans to quell their need for blood.

Currently there are no dates of airing for any of the various distribution channels; however, the rights for streaming and TV rights are very interesting and may prove to show the push to put this show on TV in the UK.

DVD Releases This Week

News - by - September 28, 2009 - 09:00 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

negima-3This week we have a legendary series being released as a complete box set. Although this series is now actually nearly two years old, it’s only been in the UK for a few months and the good value boxset is out already. Along with there is the second part of an easy viewing series with an interesting history. These two titles are:

  • Death Note Complete Series Box Set
  • Negima?! Volume 2

As always, these DVDs can be bough from all good retailers nationwide and on almost all websites.

Sci-Fi-London Oktoberfest Announced – Updated

News - by - September 26, 2009 - 21:06 Europe/London - 2 Comments

Update:

SFL have updated their site with one more title: Eureka Seven – Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers. For more information see the very last film description.

Sci-Fi-London have recently announced their new line up for the Sci-Fi-London Oktoberfest.

This well known and interesting anime all-night event starts at about 2230 with the DJ’s in the bar and the MANGAWALL for everyone to attack with their mark. Lots of goody-bags and Redbull will be on hand everywhere.

The animes that will be featured this time around are:

King of Thorn
king of thorn
“During the pandemic outbreak of the mysterious Medusa virus, Kasumi and her twin sister Shizuku become infected. They are separated when Kasumi is chosen to be one of a select group of 160 people to be placed in cryogenic suspension until a cure can be found.

After an indeterminate amount of time Kasumi awakens from her deep-freeze hibernation, only to discover that she and a handful of other survivors are in a desolate and treacherous world populated by vicious creatures.

Although Kasumi wants to learn the fate of her twin sister, she and the other survivors want to unravel much larger mystery of what happened while they were sleeping, and if, and how, they are going to survive in this post-apocalyptic world.”

The Sky Crawlers
sky crawlers
“Although most of us seem to be living the lives of eternal adolescents it is a lifestyle choice of our own and not one forced upon us like the Kildren in this film.

Set in an alternate history where the world is at peace, but in order to ease the tension of those accustomed to war and aggression, private corporations contract fighter pilots to stage combat operations against each other for show.

The Kildren are genetically designed humanoids who have the blessing/curse of eternal youth but are also conscious that every day could be the last, because they have to take part in the staged battles. Rather than being typical maudlin teenagers, they embrace the reality of their situation and live their day-to-day lives to the full.

Directed by GHOST IN THE SHELL maestro, Mamoru Oshii, from the manga of the same name.”

Time of Eve
time of eve
“It’s the near future and androids are in common usage. One day Rikuo, who has taken robots for granted all his life, discovers that Sammy, his home android, has been acting independently and coming and going on her own.

He finds a strange phrase recorded in her activity log, “Are you enjoying the Time of Eve?” He, along with his friend Masaki, traces Sammy’s movements and finds an unusual cafe, “The Time of Eve”. Nagi, the waitress, informs them that the cafe’s main rule is to not discriminate between humans and androids.

Within the cafe androids do not display their status rings, and, when patrons depart, the door is automatically locked for two minutes to prevent anyone from following them to discover their true nature.

There are plenty of references to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics to keep it interesting.”

Evangelion 1.0
evangellion
“This is a rebuild of the hugely popular, Neon Genesis Evangelion series. Tokyo-3 is all that remains of Japan after the second impact. The city is being attacked by giant creatures called Angels that want to eradicate humankind.

Shinji Ikari, who has not seen his father for more than eight years, receives a phone call in which he is told to urgently go to the NERV Headquarters, an organization that deals with the destruction of the Angels using giant mechs called Evas. Shinji’s objective is to pilot the Eva Unit 01, while teaming up with the Eva Unit 00 pilot, Ayanami Rei.”

Eureka Seven – Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers
Eureka Seven - Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers

Renton, son of scientists, and Eureka, a girl who can’t live under the sun, are raised together when very young and become very attached to each other.

One day, Eureka is taken away. Powerless at the time, Renton vows to rescue her. He enters the military and is soon assigned to the Independent Youths Unit 303 of the First Mobile Forces thanks to his exceptional performance alongside his Nirvash, a bio-mechanical armor/control system.

Unknown to Renton, lies a plot to extinguish the alien invasion that is currently happening. It involves not only him, but Eureka too.”

No actual date for this has been organised yet, but as soon as there has we’ll let you know. You can check their site out here.

Thanks to Manga UK for the tip.

Ghost in the Shell 2.0 Trailer

News - by - September 24, 2009 - 20:34 Europe/London - 3 Comments

ghost-in-the-shellTo celebrate the up and coming theatrical release of Ghost in the Shell 2.0 on the 2nd October, and the DVD and Blue Ray DVD is due out no the 26th October, we’ve been sent a trailer of this brilliant production.

Featuring the voice acting work of Richard Epcar, Ghost in the Shell 2.0 is already a well known and loved anime that’s only due to get more popular with time. After all, back in 1995 only 100,000 saw the film in cinemas, and this is well remembered by the creator:

“Only a hundred thousand people saw [Ghost In The Shell] in cinemas back in 1995,” remembers Oshii. “To this day, most people have only seen it on video. That’s why I really wanted people to have a chance to see it on the big screen, and I really hope they do. In terms of CGI, there are over 90 cuts that have been altered and enhanced. And with extensive use of filter effects and colour correction techniques throughout the rest of the film, it’s fair to say that pretty much the entire movie has been enhanced in some way.”

You can see the trailer below:

Devil May Cry and Sword of the Stranger at the Barbican

News - by - September 23, 2009 - 09:00 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

The Barbican theatre in London is a keen supporter of the UK Anime industry and frequently holds events that should tickle the taste buds of many an anime fan. With Ponyo due to be shown very soon (official date of viewing will be out shortly) and many other films and events hosted in the past it’s obvious that they are trying to keep all anime fans happy.

So to bridge the gap for Ponyo there are two events waiting for people to attend. Those events are:

Devil May Cry

devil-may-cry29th September 2009
Preview of new episodes from the Devil May Cry Television series.

Sword of the Stranger

Sword-of-the-Stranger26th October 2009
A screening of  Sword of the Stranger with both the director, Masahiro Ando and the producers, Mashiko Minami both in attendance for a open forum after the screening.

These events will also been attended by Helen McCarthy, one of the UK’s leading experts on anime and the co-author of The Anime Enyclopedia and many other anime novels.

Kitaro Live Action Trailers

News - by - September 22, 2009 - 20:13 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

kitaroTo celebrate the official release of the incredibly popular manga series by Shigeru Mizuki from the 1950s, we’ve been granted access to four trailers of the live action Japanese DVD version of Kitaro.

Based around Japanese folklore, this fantasy adventure’s lead character is a yokai, or a spirit monster and their interaction with the human world.

Kitaro is due on sale on Monday by Manga Entertainment.

DVD Releases This Week

News - by - September 21, 2009 - 19:51 Europe/London - 1 Comment

blue-dragonAs with most weeks, the UK is gifted with a new set of anime releases, normally on a Monday. This Monday is no exception to that rule and this week we’ve got three different titles and four titles in total. The four DVDs are:

  • Guyver The Complete Collection
  • Blue Dragon Volume 5 and 6
  • Gurren Lagann Volume 2
  • Gurren Lagann Volume 2 Limited Edition

As always these can be purchased through all good retail outlets.

Toymation Gets a Makeover

News - by - September 15, 2009 - 21:29 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

toymotionA new anime, manga and general interesting stuff store was launched exclusively online recently. Toymation had a large lead-up to it’s launch and was met with anticipation by those who followed it and it didn’t disappoint. With plenty of interesting pieces to buy at a decent price and a good design the store has flourished.

Continuing on this successful trend Toymation today launched their new layout and a few new exclusive items to Toymation such as Death Note Boxset (as below) and for general sale such as Soul Eater figures.

The Death Box

You can check their store out here.

X Trailer Announced

News - by - September 15, 2009 - 18:19 Europe/London - 1 Comment

x-anime-volume-1On the 19th October, the popular Clamp created manga: X, will be released on DVD for all of the UK market to enjoy. The first DVD will contain the first four episodes as well as a straight to DVD bonus preview episode called “An Omen” to introduce people to the show who are unfamiliar with the manga.

With a plot that’s strong on character development, animation and tons of explosions this anime is set to keep all action anime fans hooked for a good few months whilst this show is released.

To keep your taste buds tingling the first UK trailer for this latest anime release from MVM Entertainment, which you can see below:

DVD Releases This Week

News - by - September 14, 2009 - 11:33 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

UK Anime News - Tamagotchi The MovieSo most weeks there are lots of new anime releases to keep the UK entertained for another 7 long days. Some weeks though, there are only a few new releases and this week is one of those weeks.

Today only one new anime is being released to the market and that anime is:

  • Tamagotchi The Movie

Although our review is yet to go up on this DVD, it’s a good purchase for the younger viewer and is available through all good retailers. Manga Entertainment have advised that Play.com has got the best deal on for this show at the moment, so be sure to check out Play.com.

Competition: Death Note Box Set

News - by - September 11, 2009 - 09:00 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

DNOTECOMP

Yes, that’s right! We’ve got two copies of the complete Death Note Box Set to give away to a lucky reader of News-Anime.com. All you need to do is go here and answer the very simple question.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a full copy of this great boxset.

New Otaku Dating Site

News - by - September 11, 2009 - 09:00 Europe/London - 2 Comments

otaku-crushThere are dozens of different dating sites on the internet, some are just very generalised, some claim to be the reason why a small percentage of marriages exist and others are specialist, specifically for fans of Doctor Who and now we have one for Anime and Manga fans.

Otaku Crush have recently released their website for all. As part of The Fan Crush Network, Otaku Crush exists specifically to match Anime/Manga fans with other Anime/Manga fans.

“OTAKU CRUSH is an exciting on-line dating site that connects anime and manga fans and is a great online source of news, reviews and interviews,” states OTAKU CRUSH representative Austin Brown, “Why waste time with other dating sites when you can find someone to share a NARUTO DVD marathon with. It truly is a site for the fans by the fans.”

It’s also got one other thing going for it – it’s free at the moment. Unlike most dating sites.