Media | Anime Releases | December 4th, 2007: This week's forecast calls for a ginormous pile of good and not-so-good. As a brief reminder, this is a highlights column, and as it is prepared beforehand any and all release dates may change. Or not. Assembled with the help of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

Roundup by Mightyblue | Posted December 3, 2007

Pick of the week

Mushi-shi Vol. 4
This week was sort of a three-way brawl between The Thirdís third volume, Hell Girlís second, and Mushi-shi's fourth. The latter won on no particular merits besides the fact that it's good and I felt the urge to hold it aloft, Link style. (Fanfare here.) This stylish tale of a man who wanders the countryside seeking out the elusive Mushi is something that shouldnít be missed by anyone who appreciates quality storytelling and an eye toward artistry.

The Other Stuff

Naruto Uncut: Vol. 5
This version of Naruto is not the TV hackjob -- it restores all of the cut scenes and altered dialogue that were changed for the broadcast release. As you can probably guess, no censorship is usually a good thing, and that's the case here as well. So enjoy the true original incarnation of this generationís DragonBall-Z, only with a much higher IQ and fewer energy farts.

Air Gear Vol. 6: Kill Em Dead
Air Gear is the brain child of one Oh! Great, a man who started life as a porno artist and hasnít progressed too far beyond that stage, to judge by the artwork in the more mainstream work heís done. The show is ostensibly about people who use powered rollerblades called A-Tís and perform tricks and battle other rival teams. Itís kinda like Tony Hawk with more asskicking and a much higher per-capita ratio of scantily-clad high school girls per male. Gotta love that tagline though. Rental.

Magikano Vol. 1
Sometimes, I wonder what would happened if Tokyo were actually destroyed the way it is in pretty much every Japanese sci-fi work ever. Iím betting the world would be a less perverted place, at any rate. Magikano is yet another harem comedy: a form of media unique to Japan in which (usually) a boy or man is the love object of several beautiful women or girls covering all the stereotype bases. And of course they're almost universally really stupid or really perverse, or both. So far, Love Hina is about as unobjectionable as it gets. Magikano, on the other hand, is considerably stupider than Love Hina and has more hints of potential incest to boot. Yum. At least Hina creator Ken Akamatsu managed to make his creation vaguely entertaining, albeit in a brainless way. Magikanoís simply brainless. Oh, and perverted. Skip it.

Anime Boxsets and Other Things of a Swaggy Nature

Not a bad week for collections, although a great deal of it is borderline-questionable. Welcome to the N.H.K.ís second volume comes in an unnecessary swag edition, as do Naruto Uncut Vol. 5 and The Third Vol. 3. We have a double feature in the form of Dragon Half/Puni Puni Poemy, which is worth it for Dragon Half alone -- it's a hilarious fantasy comedy. The world would be a better place if you burn the Poemy disc, though. In terms of honest-to-god collections we have the two Lost Universe thinpaks and Ninja Nonsense Complete, both of which are borderline Netflix fodder.

The Hall of Shame

Here's a test run for a new feature Iíve been pondering for a while. Sometimes this will be about particularly bad cover art like this weekís, sometimes it'll simply be a lampoon of the release itself. This week's objets díperversity are the cover images for Welcome to the N.H.K volume twoand Witchblade volume three. The real shame is that the art for N.H.K. isnít really reflective of the show itself -- if anything it's pandering to the kind of people the series criticizes -- although the Witchblade art is actually pretty spot on. If anime houses really want to expand their base beyond the pimply set they need to start working on some less risquť box art.

The Other "Other" Stuff

  • The Third: Girl with the Blue Eye Vol. 3: Gravestone(Watch it)
  • Hell Girl: Puddle Vol. 2 (Watch it)
  • Witchblade, Vol. 3 (Skip it)
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. Vol. 2 (Watch it)

Itís a pretty big week with much more hitting the shelves than is covered here. But this should give you a pretty good idea of whatís good and whatís not. This is also the official ďKill 'Em DeadĒ edition in honor of bad taglines everywhere! Discuss it on the Forums!