More One Piece, Naruto, and Romeo x Juliet
July 2009 Edition by Todd
Douglass, John Sinnott, and Wen-Tsai
by Todd Douglass, John Sinnott, and Wen-Tsai
Welcome back to another installment of Anime Talk! So far this summer has been pretty good to anime fans. So many new titles are coming out and with the bevy of conventions in full swing there are no solicitations and licensing announcements all over the place. This is really a good thing and it's a sign that the market is still relatively healthy. I know there's talk about the market being saturated and whatnot, but the fact remains that without new titles there simply cannot be growth. I say bring it on baby! As much as you want! I can take it!
So what have we sat through in the past month? Well, a whole lot action. Complete series such as Gad Guard, Samurai Champloo, Karin, and Law of Ueki made their way into our DVD players. Other sets came in parts such as more One Piece, Naruto, Kenichi, Eureka Seven, and so many others. To say we've been busy would an understatement! When you're done seeing what shows you should check out, definitely give WTK's home on Anime Talk a look. With loads of deals from RightStuf and some other vendors from around the web there's sure to be something you want at a price you want to pay. Until next time have a great, safe summer and stay cool while watching some hot anime!
FUNimation rides to the rescue once again. They've completed The Law of Ueki, a show that was left hanging when Geneon abruptly pulled out of the US anime market. Geneon put out nine volumes of the wacky and bizarre show, but the remaining four volumes weren't available until now. The bad news: FUNimation is only releasing the last discs as part of the complete series set so if you've bought the previous discs, you'll have to buy them again to find out how the show wraps up. That's not too surprising or unexpected though, with today's anime market and the fact that this is a rather marginal series. The show, about a group of middle school students who are given superpowers and have to fight until one is left standing is definitely off-kilter. With creative and strange powers and equally absurd battle conditions this show is just the thing for someone looking for something a bit different and odd.
Death Note was a fantastic anime series that had a beginning, middle, and end. It was very good, and very successful. But what do you do when you have a popular series that has finished? Come up with some thing new to release, no matter how lame! That's what Death Note: Re-Light, Vol. 1 - Visions of a God is, a poor man's version of the acclaimed series. It's basically a spruced up clip show, telling the story of Light Yagami from the beginning, but this time from another character's point of view. The problems are that it crams a whole season's worth of events into a little over 2 hours, which means A LOT is cut out, and two it's a story fans are already familiar with. Fans of the series can feel safe giving this a pass.
Monkey D. Luffy, the man made of rubber who dreams of being King of the Pirates sails on into the second season of One Piece. Filled with all of the silly humor and colorful characters that made the first season so enjoyable, this set is just as fun as the ones that preceded it. So sit back, relax, and let Lufffy and crew take you (at last!) to the Grand Line.
VIZ recently sent us a nice little Naruto care package to catch us up to speed on the series. With volumes 13, 14, and 15 all coming around roughly the same time you can rest assured that we've had our fill of Naruto! These three volumes bring 14 episodes a piece, but sadly they don't bring much in the way of canon for the series. Considering these were all produced ahead of the point where the manga was the writers for the show had to make stuff up. Nothing is concrete here and the show really feels like it's floundering about, which is a shame. There are plenty of moments in each of the three volumes where the show offers laughs, some nice action, and solid moments between the characters, but they are few and far between. What you'll have is filler arcs, stand alone episodes, and a growing sense that the show has become stagnant. We'll see what kind of resolution comes about with the 16th installment soon enough, and of course we can all look forward to Shippuden!
Have you watched Eureka Seven yet? If you answered no, then what the heck are you waiting for!? This show has been around for a little while in the States. It enjoyed a nice run on Cartoon Network and garnered 12 volumes worth of episodes thanks to Bandai. Now the wait is over and we finally have the first part of an Anime Legends collection for the series. This show about a boy becoming a man while falling in love and forming a bond with a killing machine is quite riveting. It's one of the more unique spins on the mecha genre and after experiencing the first half of the show, the second can't get here soon enough in my opinion. Highly recommended!
"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" I'll tell you where he is, he's in FUNimation's latest grab, Romeo x Juliet. This twist on the classic Shakespearian tale sees the Montague and Capulet families in a very different setting. With flying horses, magic, and Shakespeare references aplenty, Romeo x Juliet is a vibrant and unique spin on the love story we all know quite well. Sure some of the events in the first half unfold predictably, but there are plenty of surprises as well. Check out the review for more information, but if you want to save yourself some time just consider the series highly recommended.
It's safe to say that Samurai and Champloo go together, like...well... Samurai Champloo. This high octain series comes from the mind of Shinichiro Watanabe, who was the man behind Cowboy Bebop. It's full of hip hop, it's irreverent, and it's incredibly fun to watch! Then again, by this point the show is pretty legendary due to the sheer popularity of it. If for any reason you haven't watched it yet then definitely pick up this FUNimation re-issue of the Geneon boxed set. You'll be glad you did!
Speaking of Geneon shows that FUNimation has saved recently. The publisher has released complete series of Karin and Gad Guard to the masses. In case you missed them the first time around these re-issues are a pretty solid bet to get a lot of good anime for not a lot of dollar. Karin is a series about a young vampire who is more human than undead and Gad Guard is about a boy in a downtrodden world who gets his hands on a powerful machine. Both are very entertaining in their own way and worth a look.
The first half of Kaze no Stigma has just arrived. This is one of the latest from Gonzo to come out in the States. What's it all about? Well, you see, there's this family of fire element users and they cast out one of their members when he doesn't perform as they'd hope he would. One day he comes back and a little war starts to brew between them. It's a little more complicated than that, but hey, I only have a paragraph! There are some highlights to the show, but it's very dry otherwise and probably worth a rental in the end.
Keeping along the lines of FUNimation and half seasons, they released a few second parts over the course of the past month. Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Heroic Age, and D.Gray-Man all got their second round of episodes. For D.Gray-Man and Kenichi they still have more to present, but Heroic Age came to a close. I wasn't too big on the ending, but the rest of the set was worthwhile with a lot of action. As far as the other shows are concerned Kenichi continues to be a lot of fun and D.Gray-Man steps up the action and level of intrigue. All three deserve to be picked up!
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