Media | Anime Releases | September 25, 2007: Man, do I ever need to shut up. This week is a massive, massive release flurry, with a high level of crappy material. Prepared with the assistance of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

Roundup by Mightyblue | Posted September 25, 2007

Pick of the week

Haruhi Suzumiya, Vol. 3 | The Third, Vol. 3 | Ergo Proxy, Vol. 6
This is one of those "wow" weeks in which a smorgasbord of quality titles have managed to sneak their way onto shelves to stand alongside the crap. Tekkon Kinkreet would have made its way onto this list save for the small fact that itís also one of those rare and precious high-definition anime releases. So, this weekís selections are The Third Volume 3, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Volume 3, and Ergo Proxy Volume 6. Itís a shame that EP hasnít been released in true high-definition yet, since itís one of the few series that has seen an HD release in Japan.

The Other Stuff

Gundam Seed Destiny, Vol. 10
How could they screw up a Gundam series this badly? Even Gundam Wings and its ridiculous harem of inane pretty-boys wasn't this lousy. Things are fine up until the 20th episode or so, but after that the writers apparently started smoking crack because things quickly fall apart. Unless youíre a die hard Gundam fan -- no, wait. Gundam fans will probably hate this. So... unless you like bizarre deus ex machina plot twists, skip this one and wait for Gundam 00.

Voltron, Vol. 4
I loved this show as a kid, but then I grew up and tried watching it again and found it practically impossible to keep my mind from bleeding out. Inexplicable alterations and outright censorship ruin the show, as this is one of the few anime to be "localized" back in the '80s for American consumption. Sadly, this didnít turn out nearly as well as Robotech did, and Robotech was a thirty-car pile-up. Skip it, unless your nostalgia is that powerful.

Digi-Charat Nyo!, Vol. 3
This show is... about cat-eared alien princesses, who crash land on Earth en-route to princess training? Or something? Sometimes I think Japan tries to create the most baffling things in existence just so they can point and laugh at foreigner who aren't in on the joke. Then everyone wonders why a largish chunk of the population becomes emotionally-scarred hikkomori. So, uh, skip this one.

Hitohira, Vol. 4
High School comedy? Check. Introverted character who joins club in effort to open up? (In this case female.) Check. More formulaic fanservice in the form of moé and cosplay? Double check. Odds this show is going to be declared an all-time classic by anime clubs and basement-dwelling pervs everywhere? 10000-to-1. Odds this show should be skipped by everyone with common sense? 1-to-0.

Shining Tears X Wind, Vol. 3
I love the Shining Force series (well, before the PS2 editions, anyway), so shamelessly crappy tie-ins to two mediocre entries in the series makes my blood boil. Lots of stock anime characters, lots of moe and fanservice, cosplay, and steaming turds. Like any great big pile of schlock this one should be left well alone, even by series fans.

Anime in High-Def

Tekkon Kinkreet | Freedom, Vol. 2
We have two high-def selections this week: Tekkon Kinkreet on Blu-ray (plus regular DVD and UMD) and Freedom, Vol. 2 as a dual DVD/HD-DVD release. Tekkonís about a city full of gangsters, gamblers and other assorted malcontents, a place doomed to be razed unless two boys named Black and White can save it. As the winner of the Mainichi Film Awardsí Ōfuji Noburō Award -- a prize generally reserved for smaller production or independent titles -- it definitely deserves a look. Meanwhile, Freedom is an OAV series (remember those?) produced by Bandai Visual and Sunrise about a boy who makes his own vehicle to race in a moon colony, apparently a rare event. I havenít watched the show, so I canít say anything about its quality. Hopefully it's better than the last show to have the same plot, Star Wars: Episode One.

Anime Boxsets and Other Things of a Swaggy Nature

In addition to several regular boxsets, this week also see a few special edition releases. "Special" usually means they include a T-shirt or other goodies not included in the sanely-priced regular editions, and command a $5-10 premium. Regular box set releases this week are: Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Kamichu! Complete Collection and Ranma 1/2 Season 3: Hard Battle. Swag edition releases are: Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 3 limited edition, Witchblade Starter Set (which contains volume 1), Eureka Seven, Vol. 9 limited edition, Gundam Seed: Destiny, Vol. 10 limited edition, and Air TV, Vol. 2. Whew. None of the boxsets are particularly tempting, and the swag editions are only interesting if you want a cheapo T-shirt to let the world know you like the anime of your choice a little too much. Otherwise, they're eminently skippable. A caveat: It's often difficult to find regular editions in brick-and-mortar shops the week that their swag editions come out.

The Other "Other" Stuff

Bleach: Volume 6, The Entry (rental/Netflix)
Witchblade: Volume 1 (skip)
Eureka Seven: Volume 9 (rental)
Utawarerumono: Volume 6, Song For Posterity (rental)
Naruto: Volume 16 (skip)
Air TV: Volume 2 (skip)
Hikaru no Go: Volume 10 (hit)
El-Hazard OVA: Volume 3 (skip)
Desert Punk: Enter the Desert; Volume 1 (rental) [reprint]
Desert Punk: The Desert Duo; Volume 2 (rental) [reprint]
Kono Aozora Ni Yakusoku Wo: Volume 3 (skip)
Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny; Volume 4 (skip)
Le Chevalier DíEon: Volume 11 (hit)

Sturgeon is a very irritating man, especially this week. But not everything was bad, and there are at least a few rentals in the pile beyond the high-def selections and the weekly picks. Next week will likely be much of the same. Discuss it on the Forums!