» April, 2010

BIOMECHA 8 Now Available

News - by - April 6, 2010 - 09:58 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

It was confirmed yesterday by Sweatdrop Studios, that their latest product range is now available to purchase immediately. BIOMECHA 8, the 8th instalment in the BIOMECHA series by Laura Watton will retail at just £3.00GBP from Sweatdrop Studios directly.

Best date ever, or worst night of your life?

Set in the near future, Biomecha tells the tale of friends at college who have special abilities. Toshio has hypersensitive and hyperactive arms falls in love with a pretty young girl named Reiko. Together they try and make their fated relationship work.

She is nervous, he is worried about hurting her – and wants to curb the ever-growing mountain of bills in the wake of his unintentional destruction!

In this issue… Harlan and Nammy go to their gig, only for drama, confusion and the unexpected to get in their way.

Available: 5th April 2010
Where: Sweatdrop Studios
Price: £3 per volume (8 in total to date with two specials)

You can purchase BIOMECHA via Sweatdrop Studios and all of their previous editions here.

Evangelion, Chocolate Underground & More at the BFI

News - by - April 5, 2010 - 16:37 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

The British Film Insensitive is a well known and well respected institution that is constantly on the lookout to air new and interesting films from the world to the normal people of the UK.

As if to honour their promise they will be hosting an Anime Weekend this May, from the 21-23rd May this year and will be airing a number of different and interesting films listed below.

Chocolate Underground
Based on the hit book Bootleg by British author Alex Shearer. The Good for You Party has won the election by promising health and happiness for all, but now they are in power they have announced the Prohibition law and chocolate, sweets and all things sugary are now illegal! Two boys, Huntley and Smudger, along with some friends, won’t accept this new law and, although it means risking capture by the robot enforcers and imprisonment, they begin to bootleg chocolate.

When: Sunday 23rd May 2010
Time: 1810
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT
Book here.

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
Shinki Ikari is called for by his estranged father at the opening of this film and as he wanders around his town, which has been shut down due to an emergency announcement, he is caught in a crossfire between the United Nations and the fourth Angel. Rescued by one of the UN team, he is brought to the Tokyo-3 and NERV HQ where he is pressurised into becoming a pilot. His life is never the same again.

When: Friday 21st May 2010
Time: 1830
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT
Book here.

Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
Shinji Ikari is now a pilot and a new EVA pilot is on the loose and is trying to destroy third Angel. Shinki and Gendo who are grief strike at the time later reveals this information to them whilst the world as they know it seems to be under attack constantly. Human understanding changes significantly towards the end of the film due to Shinji’s efforts…

When: Friday 21st May 2010
Time: 2045
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT
Book here.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
Layton receives a record in the mail from a famed opera singer, Jenis Quatlane. Layton remind Luke of their adventure with her, and the flashback begins. After the events of Professor Layton and the Specter’s Flute, Layton receives a letter from a former student of his, Jenis Quatlane. Jenis writes that she is performing at an opera house called the Crown Petone, and there have been many strange things happening.  ~ Wikipedia

When: Sunday 23rd May 2010
Time: 2010
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT
Book here.

Stormy Night

A goat named Mei wanders into a barn during the night for shelter from a storm. In the barn, the goat finds another refugee. The two can neither see nor smell each other, yet huddled together fending off the cold, they begin to talk and eventually develop a friendship. They decide to meet at a later time using the password “one stormy night”. The next day, when the two meet, Mei learns that his companion from the night before was a wolf named Gabu. Despite the fact that the two are naturally supposed to be enemies, they share a bond and begin meeting regularly. However, Mei’s flock and Gabu’s pack eventually find out about this and forbid their friendship. Mei and Gabu, hoping to preserve their friendship, cross a river during a storm, hoping to find an “emerald forest” free from persecution for their friendship. ~ Wikipedia

When: Saturday 22nd May 2010
Time: 1500
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT
Book here.

Welcome to the Space Show
The epic adventure about five children’s summer vacation and the events and adventures that they find themselves on along the way.

When: Saturday 22nd May 2010
Time: 1730
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT
Book here.

For full information, check out the BFI’s website here.

DVD Releases This Week

News - by - April 5, 2010 - 08:46 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Not every week is a long weekend, for those of us who work outside of the service industry we’ve just had Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today off from work or school. Perfect long weekend, if only it was always like that! However, for some bizarre reason the anime world has got things the wrong way around!

Last week there was only two new DVD releases, although large box sets, this week, there are seven new anime releases and two further DVDs worth taking note of! So, without further adue, here are the releases:

The two that are noteworthy, non-anime but Japanese related DVDs are:

Geisha Assassin, also known as Geisha vs Ninja is being released by MVM Entertainment and is a light-hearted film where Geisha’s and Ninja’s clash.

Battle Royale looks like a license rescue as it my copy was released by Palisades Tartan. Battle Royale for those who don’t know it, is where a group of children are taken to an island and have to kill each other before they can escape.

All of the above DVDs have got links next to them to the cheapest place we could find to purchase them from, if there are two places the same both links have been given but extra information in brackets where needed.

Make sure that rather than pirating these items, or just downloading them that you purchase these DVDs to help support the growing anime industry in this country!

Tamagotchi the Movie

Features - by - April 4, 2010 - 22:28 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

A film based on a beeping toy…

Tamagotchi the Movie

Reviews - by - April 4, 2010 - 22:27 Europe/London - 1 Comment

Tamagotchi the Movie, published in 2007 was produced by Susan Deming, directed by Dan Kuenster and written by Kuenster, Deming and David Lewman and inspired by the much loved digital pet in an egg shaped key-ring, the Tamagotchi. The adorable little pet was first released to the world in 1996 and people of all ages, from children to parents and everyone in between seemed to own one. This addictive, pixelated pet enabled the owner to nurture, play and even clean up after their digital pet, with the upside of less bad smells and the only exercise the user would get would be with their thumbs.

Owing to the gadget’s success, in 2007 Tamagotchi the Movie was released in Japan and was every bit as adorable as the virtual pet was itself. The storyline begins with a young girl, Tanpopo who is confused and indecisive about becoming a big sister for the first time. She sports her very own Tamagotchi key-ring and is seen playing with it before she gets a phone call from her mother asking her to take a bag to her. Unbeknown to Tanpopo and the rest of the population of Earth, thousands of miles away, across the sea stars, another planet exists known as Tamagotchi World. Housing hundreds of little Tamagotchi’s who are all living their own little lives and it’s at this point the remaining characters are introduced. The key character, Mametchi who is a sprightly, young Tamagotchi keen to become an inventor like his father, but who also shares Tampopo’s confusing emotions of becoming an older sibling.

In what appears to be a freak accident, Mametchi transports Tanpopo from Earth to Tamagotchi World whilst conducting a new experiment. Unrealistically, Tanpopo rather than being distraught at being caught up in a whole new world, is more than happy to find herself on a strange planet; where every item, bush and building has a face and even Black Holes, one of the universe’s most feared entities, is made to look adorable. This becomes even clearer when she finds she can spend each day playing with the digital creatures she has come to love back on Earth and not suffer any implications as she will be able to travel back in time. So the work and adventures begin to try and help her return home and for her and Mametchi to realise that being an older sibling is nothing to be scared of.

The characters are all well thought out and with enough emotion and problems for young children to relate to. Tanpopo is faced with the realisation that a lot of children her age are forced to come to terms with, not just sharing their parents attention but also that they now have to be the grown-up one with someone who will be looking up to them. This beautiful message is conveyed brilliantly and reassures a lot of viewers with some very conflicting emotions, which by extension will make a viewer enjoy the movie that bit more. Pretty deep for a film inspired by a digital pet, right? Not to worry, the rest of it is complete fun and nonsense! The characters are adorable, colourful and funny.

Something the viewer may find surprising is the fantastic quality in the animation! It’s smooth, clean and crisp, with multiple characters moving at the same time. Not what one would expect from Tamagotachi the Movie. There are plenty of big named animes out there that aren’t as privileged to have this same standard of animation. A little over the top for what is a pretty standard storyline? Not at all. If such an incident was to occur such as being transported to a world run by cute little pets, living in cute little homes where even the sun lives its life exploring different hot springs, then this is what you’d want to see! Everything in this movie is overflowing with colour, sparkles and glowing rays of light. Tamagotchi the Movie looks so good it actually looks edible!

The voice actors are perfectly synchronised with the Movie. Not that this would be difficult to achieve, anyone willing to accept a few gulps of helium could do the job.

Death Note – Complete Series Box Set

Features - by - April 4, 2010 - 22:16 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

The complete collection of this must-see series.

Death Note – Complete Series Box Set

Reviews - by - April 4, 2010 - 22:15 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

The world is a filthy, evil place. Harbouring people with no morals, love or sense of decency, it’s time for things to change. Unluckily for the criminals of the world, the Shinigami Ryuk has accidentally dropped his Notebook onto Earth from the Death World and a teenage Light has managed to pick it up and he is about to cleanse the world.

Death Note is already well known to almost all of the anime community, despite only making across to the UK in 2009; it’s been widely followed, admired and discussed about for many years. Something that not many anime can achieve, it’s so widespread that there have been a number of “copycat” incidents in the media where people have actually penned their own “Death Notes” books with people they hate – naturally this has led to the mass media trying to use Death Note as some sort of scapegoat for society’s wider problems.

Death Note focuses primarily on the lead character, Light who is a teenage prodigy with a strong sense of morality and what the world should be like. Due to this intelligence he easily believes that he could play at being God, a task that is given to him in the first episode as he finds a notebook with instructions. These instructions are very sinister, write someone’s name in the notebook and that person will die.  As with most decent people, he dismisses it as something that’s disgusting but is also tempted to use this tool. He decides that he’s going to test it on someone who deserves to die – a most wanted criminal.

To his surprise it works, and to further this level of shock he is met with a Shinigami (Death God in Japan) called Ryuk who explains how to use the Death Note, mostly because he wants to see what’s going on and as he’s got an affinity with apples.

It doesn’t take long for the police to realise that someone is killing off criminals around the world and brings in someone to try and help – L. L is a criminal’s worst nightmare, with a sickly look about him and an almost Sherlock Holmes power to deduct everything from the word go and play the game at the same time he’s easily the hero of the series.

The plot itself moves around at a very quick pace, with plenty of subplots running concurrently and with an expanded but brilliantly placed cast Death Note manages to capture the viewer’s interest in the first episode. Rather than the series peaking at the start and the end it manages to keep the suspense running throughout the entire series – not an easy feat. Especially as this is a 37 episode series that’s essentially a murder-mystery show. At no point do the cast seem mechanical, forced or unbelievable. Even the characters that are seemingly perfect, such as Light or L are fallible and these fallacies are shown in the most catastrophic ways – something that would often occur to people who are “better” than everyone else.

Of course, to keep the plot moving along there are a few twists and turns that are expected a little and towards the middle of the series it becomes hard to picture how the show will continue with its momentum. It’s at this point a coup de grâce is delivered to one of the key characters and the entire show’s dynamic changes and some of the other characters start to “slip” a little, it’s at this point the viewer is able  to start predicting the end of the show; however unsuccessful they may be at it.

Death Note manages to toy with the audience throughout the entire show, with promises of scenes that do not occur but make the viewer beg for more of what was delivered instead. At no point does the show let the viewer take a back seat and simply guide them through the world, it’s shock after shock with blows to the gut that leave the audience gasping.

The characters are well designed, with all of the “other-worldly” creatures designed in a way to show that it’s clear that they are the same specie, but each are unique as humans are. The humans in Death Note also all look different – another rarity from the anime world. The support cast are all designed well and the actual colouration of the scenes and the characters is done brilliantly. A keen eyed viewer will be able to spot that the colours change throughout the show, with the backgrounds darker and lighter at different points to accurately reflect the situation at hand.

The casting of the voice actors of the Japanese cast is perfect, there is emotion and depth in the acting, and the English voice cast attempt to match this but miss but a smidgen but the English dub is still a great dub and well worth watching.

Pokémon and Tales from Earthsea on TV

News - by - April 4, 2010 - 21:55 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Finding anime on TV is always a rare thing, so when it’s noticed early enough it needs to be shouted about. Normally if it’s on the day News Anime will only announce it on Twitter or Facebook as it’s normally when we’ve actually flicked through the TV and found it ourselves showing.

This time around; however, there’s two anime films on and they are:

Pokemon 4 Ever – Celebi: Voice of the Forest
Ash Ketchum and his faithful companion Pikachu travel to an island to investigate especially rare species of Pokémon and the legendary Pokémon Celebi. Team Rocket manage to get themselves involved and Celebi, Ash and co get taken on a long adventure.

Channel: BBC2
When: Friday 9th April at 1230 (Dub)

Tales From Earthsea
The Studio Ghibli adaptation of Ursula Le Quin’s Earthsea series, Sparrowhawk the wizard must attempt to battle half of the world to try and save it from disaster.

Channel: Film4
When: Sunday 11th April at 1250 (Dub)

If any of you ever find any anime films that we’ve not told the world about, please let us know by going to the “About” page and filling in the contact form or messaging us via Twitter or Facebook.

Eye on Asia Special Offer

News - by - April 4, 2010 - 19:44 Europe/London - 1 Comment

The online anime and manga figurines and merchandise retailer, Eye on Asia, have today announced a special offer that entitles everyone to 5% off of their order should that order be made between today and 11th April 2010.

Once you’ve browsed through their catalogue of goods and then added what you want to purchase to your shopping cart, add the promo code EASTEREGG in the coupon/special code area of the payment screen.

You can view Eye on Asia’s website here.

Source: Eye on Asia Twitter

Terratag Special Offer

News - by - April 3, 2010 - 16:28 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Copyright Karl and Terratag

In Japan there are hundreds, if not thousands of designs that feature random bits of English on clothes. When an English person sees this it’s often something to make fun of as Engrish. In the UK the direct opposite has been happening a lot recently, with oriental characters appearing on clothes more and more frequently.

So for the most part, online designer and retailer Terratag have bucked the trend and taken everything a step further and are designing clothes with an Eastern theme and with anime themes.

As Terratag are so lovely and they want to show everyone some love in these chocolatey times they’re doing a little promotion. Free shipping on all items purchased before the 12th April 2010.

Terratag are in dozens of retailers across the country and their designs and quality are top-notch – I can personally vouch for this as I have a good few items of clothing from Terratag which wash well, don’t fade and deliver very quickly.

You can check on Terratag’s designs here.

$2.4 Billion Lost Owing to Chinese Pirates

News - by - April 3, 2010 - 15:21 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

Not a real Chinese Pirate...

It’s been published today in The Times newspaper that the Japanese animation industry estimated it lost $2.4 billion (227 billion yen or £1.6 billion) owing to piracy in China.

It has long be said that piracy in China is costing the anime industry across the world a significant amount of money; however, Japan have now managed to put an actual figure against everyone’s guesses. To put this into perspective, this is more than twice the amount that Japan made in profit from foreign exports of anime.

A spokesperson for Production IG (makers of Ghost in the Shell and many other huge hits) stated:

..that short of closing down the internet altogether, there was little the company could do to stop piracy.

Source: The Times

Manga Entertainment Confirm Two New Movies

News - by - April 3, 2010 - 14:43 Europe/London - Be first to Comment!

It was recently confirmed that Manga Entertainment have gained the license to release two new movies in the UK, the confirmed release dates for one movie has not been confirmed yet; the other is due shortly. Those two films are:

Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai Movie

Based around the real life Japanese swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, author of The Book of Five Rings this Oshii/Production IG film’s plot is still to be 100% confirmed to English audiences.

Release: Unknown

Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers Movie

Renton and Eureka are both children who are somewhat of an oddity. Remton raised by scientists and Eureka who can’t live under the sun are very attached to one another and this attachment is put to the test when Eureka is taken from Renton – who is powerless to stop it. He vows to get Eureka back one way or another.

Release: 19th July 2010
Format: Standard Definition and Blu-Ray

Manga Entertainment have recently been picking up a lot of anime films and this just shows their continued commitment to the UK scene.

Source: Manga Entertainment’s Twitter via AUK News