Media | Anime Releases | November 27th, 2007: Middling in size but enormous with awesome, and with good gift ideas. Prepared with the help of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

Roundup by Mightyblue | Posted November 26, 2007

Pick of the week

Satoshi Kon's Paprika

Before saying anything about this show, I have to admit that Iíve never seen a Satoshi Kon flick. Itís something I plan to rectify soon, but for now my unfamiliarity makes the hype surrounding the man and his movies all the more intriguing. And Kon's latest movie Paprika is this week's pick based on reputation alone. A story about dreams and people who can dive into them to watch or even alter them, Paprika has earned rave reviews from every quarter. It seems like a good pick to introduce someone to the extremes of Japanese animation -- and like good entertainment, to boot. Itís also shipping on Blu-Ray, which makes it this week's sole high-definition anime. It's also available on (snort, giggle) UMD.

The Other Stuff

Bleach Vol. 7
It's Bleach. By covering this I have at last touched upon the full trifecta of the personal failings and emotional immaturity of Internet fanboys. This show along with Naruto and One Piece comprise the three shounen (boysí action) series that inspire the most squabbling, the most frothing stupidity, and the most horribly-written erotic fancomics. Bleach is a sort of cross between Yu Yu Hakusho and DragonBall-Z, blending Eastern spiritual concepts with swords, sorcery and energy blasts, though in its defense it does take a slightly more considered and intelligent approach to the whole business than the series that made Toriyama a cultural icon in Japan. Er, wait, that was Dragon Quest? -- so never mind. This volume places us firmly in the Soul Society arc, which according to the Internet, is the best one EVAR. Except all the others that are also the best one EVAR. A good rental, but don't let the stupid rub off on you.

Hikaru no Go
What can I say about the ancient game of Go? Itís often considered the Japanese equivalent of chess in terms of complexity and the skill required to play well. This series follows one Hikaru Shindou and the ghost possessing him, Fujiwara no Sai. The ghost requires that Hikaru master Go so that Sai can atone for his sins and go to the afterlife; yet the problem is that Hikaru is pretty much your average middle schooler with little exposure to Go. I'd imagine it's a bit like being possessed by the ghost of former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, which as you can imagine is probably death for Hikaru's social life. A good choice.

Glass Fleet, Vol. 2
A kind of space opera-ish series from the creative minds of studio Gonzo and illustrator Shoji Kawamori, who handled the mechanical designs for the series. You might know him better as the man worked on this one thing called Macross. Or, uh, Robotech. And Transformers. Are your nerd senses tingling yet? Or at least your childhood nostalgia? They'd damn well better be. Of course, a good design pedigree doesn't necessarily mean good storytelling, and Gonzo tends to be all over the place. But at least there'll be lots of CGI. Probably another good pick, at least to test the waters.

Anime Boxsets and Other Things of a Swaggy Nature

Wow. This week is kind of awesome, actually. Several massive, high-quality collections arrive this week; Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi Perfect Collection, Neon Genesis Evangelion Platinum Perfect Collection, Ranma 1/2 Season 4, and Nadia, Secret of Blue Water Perfect Collection. All four are good choices, though Iím not really a fan of Rumiko Takahashi so Iíd say pass on Ranma. [Editor's note: anything after season three is garbage, and you may ignore this set with confidence.]

The Other "Other" Stuff

  • Naruto Vol. 18 (skip)
  • Air TV, Vol. 4 (rental)
  • Suzuka Vol. 5 (hit)

If you canít find something to watch this week, thereís no hope for you. No hope, I say! Anyway, most of the collections would make great gifts for the anime watcher in your life, as would Paprika. Discuss it on the Forums!