Media | Anime Releases | September 11, 2007: Heya everybody, this is Mightyblue. Like VsRobot, I’ll be covering the anime end of the DVD spectrum. This week’s a light one compared to last week, but there’s also a lot of gold too. Not that you'd know, since we didn't cover last week's releases. Eh heh.

Column prepared with the assistance of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon. Thanks to VsRobot for the source linkages.

Roundup by Mightyblue | Posted September 9, 2007

Pick of the week

Guyver / Mushi-shi / Shounen Omyouji

Well lads and ladies, were this last week I’d have called it "Rumiko Takahashi week" in honor of the releases of Inu-Yasha's season four and movies box sets and the general level gold-mining necessary amidst the crap of the other releases. This week, on the other hand, proves to be much better in terms of quality. All three of the titles pictured here are excellent series which should satisfy most any anime fan, or anyone seeking some good entertainment, in fact.

The Other Stuff

Xenosaga: The Animation
If someone had told me that a Xenosaga anime (based off the first game) would suck, I'd have called them crazy. Mostly because playing the games was like watching anime sprinkled with occasional moments of gameplay. Sadly, those someones would be right this time around, as the anime adaptation is a shoddy, low-production values mess that only diehard anime watchers or XS fans would want to watch, let alone pay for. And only then to be mortally offended by its badness. Skip it.

Burst Angel Vol. 3
The third DVD of Burst Angel, a series that publisher Funi has been localizing for at least a few years by now. A serviceable Matrix-style action show with CG mechas and vehicles courtesy of Gonzo, Burst Angel's major twist is that all but one of the mains are female. This being anime, still fall into the usual stereotypes. You can easily find better shows, but if you’re in the market for a perfectly decent action/mecha show you could also find much worse. Worth a rent, at least.

Best Student Council! Vol. 6
I keep expecting an EVAR! to suddenly pop up after the title, but I’m going to blame that on the Internet. It would fit, though: The show is every bit as trite and clichéd the tired "Best (thing) EVER!" joke. Your basic weird Japanese HS slice-o-life show, Best Student Council! offers little to recommend it, especially its atrocious dub job. I would also like to note that the ‘!’ in the title the actual name of the DVD and not my own interjection of excitement. Skiiiip iiiiittttt (for EVAR!).

Ah! My Goddess! Flights of Fancy
If you’ve ever seen a single Ah! My Goddess show (including the old ones back when they called it "Oh My Goddess!" to the irritation of literally dozens of noisy Japanophiles), you know exactly what you’re in for. This volume marks the end of the Peorth mini-storyline, and basically any sign of change plotwise for the first half of the series. The series remains extremely episodic and character-driven, so those looking for a grand, overarching plot will be disappointed. For those unacquainted with the series, it’s a romantic comedy -- arguably the original harem anime, and far more tasteful than modern takes on the genre -- following the exploits of one Keiichi Morisato, his goddess girlfriend Belldandy, and her two sisters Skuld and Urd. Things progress on an episodic basis, with each chapter largely unrelated to the last. Besides the characters, of course. A good choice if you want something to watch with your girlyfriend.

Anime in High-Def

Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise
Surprise! Anime has arrived in HD. Content-wise, this is a great way to kick off the format; Wings of Honneamise is a time-tested classic. That could nip it in the ass, though -- one has to wonder if the age of the film will limit the benefits of HD resolution. Annoyingly, the same art is used across both the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD releases, so watch for the symbols in the upper right. As if the next-gen format wars weren't confusing enough already.

So, a relatively slow week. With roughly a dozen or so anime releases for this week, about half are even worth considering. Remember, though: anime is almost always released in a serial DVD format, so if you want to jump in your best bet is to start at the first DVD of the series. Most anime DVDs feature clear volume or episode markings, although in some cases you'll have to look carefully to find them.

Discuss this week's releases on the forums!