Tagged: Death Note

Review: ‘Ouran High School Host Club’

Review: ‘Ouran High School Host Club’

Last October, a horn player and otaku friend recommended a
shojo anime. OMG. Cute. I don’t do cute. But she persisted and I was
curious – a smart, geeky, poor girl gets into an elite academy for rich
kids on a full scholarship, feels totally out of place, and accidentally
becomes associated with the six smartest, most gorgeous, richest, blue-blooded
and most well-connected guys in the school…hmmm…been there, done that. No
really! My life is an anime! So I
looked. And I was hooked.

I had to wait ‘til the end of March for the
complete Ouran High School Host Club collection from Funimation (4 disks, extras like commentaries from the
American cast, about $50 retail, standard and blu-ray). But it was worth it.
And what could make a hard-core, anti-kawaii viewer like me get involved?
Simple – beautiful art, music, performances, writing and, most
importantly, characters and storylines that will make you laugh and cry and
care. In short, as I’ve said so many times before – it’s human!

And it does so by delighting all
the senses – the eye is treated to architectural renderings both
ridiculous and lush (English academy style in pink with cherry blossoms), the
music composed and performed flawlessly with elements of Bach Brandenburg
Concerti, Strauss Waltzes, and Chopin Nocturnes that will have you swearing
they’d been written by the great masters, but by Yoshihisha Hirano (Death Note), believable dialogue even at
its most outrageous, and glimpses into Japanese pop culture and history in
fascinating detail.

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New York Anime Festival 2009 Wrap-up

New York Anime Festival 2009 Wrap-up

Picture a world where people gather and interact in joy and
harmony, where groups of gaily-clad youths break into spontaneous song and
dance at regular intervals, where spontaneous conga lines of diverse peoples
stretch for blocks and wind through the market stalls, where merchants sell and
people buy with easy affability and business is brisk, where people debate the
topics of the day with great thoughtfulness and passion and the powers-that-be
listen to the people-at-large. The Twilight Zone? Are you some sort of philosopher,
or something? Well…no and yes. I just spent a weekend at my first New York
Anime Festival at the Javitz Center in Manhattan and I found myself
intermittently amused, bemused, overwhelmed, and overjoyed.

Think about it. Everyone has watched an animated something
in their lifetime, no matter how old. From Looney Tunes to Disney to
Hanna-Barbera to Pixar, we’ve experienced this media and it has been used for
everything from pure entertainment to social commentary. Much of what was seen
in America during the ‘60s and ‘70s was actually from Japan – Speed
Racer, Kimba the White Lion, Astro Boy, Gigantor, Tobor the 8th Man
– some of which are now known to a new generation only via CGI-heavy
feature films. Yet this is far from past-tense kiddie land. With the global
economy, the on-line connecting of the worlds, and all the ways we
cross-pollinate each other’s cultures, just as Americans seem to be everywhere,
so are the Japanese and the growing connections between East and West, from
McDonald’s to manga.

My professional friends, The Anime Chicks, brought me into
the anime fold only about three years ago with Rose of Versailles and The
Legend of Basara
, and a wise one passed along to me the original Full Metal Alchemist (also see subbed on
hulu and other sites the new Full Metal
Alchemist: Brotherhood
, now up to ep 26 in Japan, which follows the manga
more closely as anime and manga had diverged with the common delays between the
two medias), which is sometimes too great for words and, as I’ve happily
discovered, it’s consistently named in the top 5 anime ever in many fan and
professional polls. This encouraged me to explore more: Death Note, Trinity Blood
and, God help me, the never-ending Bleach,
all enabled by my colleagues, our very own Scooby Gang. This lead to Saturday all-nighters on Cartoon Network with Moribito, Ghost in the Shell: 2nd
Gig
, Code Geass: LeLouche of the
Rebellion
, Blood+, Big O (2nd season), and Cowboy BeBop.

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Warner Home Video to Take Over Viz Distribution

Warner Home Video to Take Over Viz Distribution

Warner Home Video will take over distribution for Viz Media’s home video output, according to ICv2. The deal is effective April 1 beginning with Naruto Uncut Box Set 13 and Hunter vs. Hunter Box Set, Vol.2, which have a street date of April 7. 

WHV will take over distribution of Viz’s backlist, which also includes Pokémon, Bleach, Death Note and Inuyasha.
 
Viz joins the impressive lineup of brands managed by WHV, including the BBC, National Geographic, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss, Cartoon Network, Popeye, American Girl, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL.
 
Hidemi Fukuhara, the President and CEO of Viz Media, said in a statement,” We look forward to joining forces with Warner Home Video and are confident that in working with their strength in sales and distribution, we will continue to grow the anime category even more effectively than we have over the last several years.” 
 

VIZ Adds Two New Series for Xbox Viewing

VIZ Adds Two New Series for Xbox Viewing

As the Xbox transforms itself into an entertainment portal, more and more companies are developing material to be played on the platform in addition to video games.  The latest to announce product is VIZ Media, saying their animated action series Bleach and Death Note (both Uncut and English dubbed) are now available.

Fans will now have the ability to watch these episodes on a Download-To-Own (DTO) basis through Xbox LIVE for 160 Microsoft Points per episode.

Bleach offers episodes 1-41 dubbed in English with more to be added, and Death Note features the full 37-episode series dubbed in English. The two series join Naruto Uncut, which has been offered on Xbox LIVE since November 2007 and currently features episodes 1-52 dubbed in English as well as episodes 1–24 subbed (with English subtitles), with more to be added.

“The anime genre enjoys a huge following among millions of avid Xbox 360 owners and the addition of the Bleach and Death Note series to the Xbox LIVE library will be a big attraction,” Scott Nocas, group product manager for Xbox LIVE, said in a release.

Xbox LIVE provides viewers with easy access to hundreds of full-length TV shows for Download-To-Own and the latest feature films for Download-To-Rent. Xbox 360 is also the first gaming console to offer Standard and High Definition TV shows and movies via digital distribution. Xbox LIVE currently includes a worldwide social entertainment network reaching more than 14 million members and offering 24/7 online access to gaming, movies, music, TV shows and more.

“We are very excited to team with Xbox LIVE to feature episodes of Bleach and Death Note,” says Ken Sasaki, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “The combination of the hottest television and movie programming, video gaming and social networking interaction makes Xbox LIVE a compelling platform to present these smash hit animated dramas. As the convergence of digital technology presents an innovative new way to access and download a wide array of content, we look forward to fans across the United States turning to Xbox LIVE for the latest in online animated programming from VIZ Media.”
 

ComicMix Radio: Cameras Roll On The Battlestar Film

ComicMix Radio: Cameras Roll On The Battlestar Film

Production began this week on the next Battlestar:Galactica TV movie and fans are rejoicing. However, there is one cast member who is still in shock that his character has survived this long. We talk to him and get a few bits of news on Caprica as well, plus:

  • Death Note hits it big in NYC
  • McFarlane sculpts a Halo Wars line
  • Sarah Jane returns with a series of two part Adventures

And on the weekend, we have some big news involving ComicMix and the Baltimore ComicCon that you do not want to miss. Then, just like now, all you need to do is  Press the Button!
 

 

And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!

 

Manga Friday: Out of the Past

Manga Friday: Out of the Past

This week, Manga Friday heads into the past…sort of. I picked up the first volume of two extremely popular manga series, to see what they’re all about. But we’ll start with something even less likely.

Siku is the pseudonym for a British cartoonist of Nigerian heritage who’s worked extensively in the British comics industry for the last ten years, including the obligatory stint on Judge Dredd. But he’s done something very different now – a book called The Manga Bible. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a retelling of the entire Christian Bible, in a manga-influenced art style, in two hundred pages. The script was written by Akin Akinsiku, another Nigerian-British comics creator, and there’s a lot of script.

Now, I’ve read Bible comics before. (You might not know this, but your humble Manga Friday correspondent won his church’s Bible Olympics two straight years back in his ill-spent youth.) There was a set of ten or so books that I particularly remember from that time, which adapted the entire bible, one chunk per book. And even those comics were pretty wordy – folks in the Bible tend to talk a lot (even with a New International Version translation, like the Manga Bible uses), and descriptive captions are often required to explain what’s going on and who all of these people are.

The Manga Bible is extremely wordy; each page is nearly covered in captions and dialogue balloons, to the detriment of the art. Yes, the characters are drawn in a manga-influenced style, but the storytelling doesn’t owe much to manga at all. It’s exceptionally compressed, like an early ‘60s Superman story, without the expansiveness and flowing layouts of real manga. The art is eye-catching, though not so stylized as to appear completely alien to American eyes. So it’s a shame that it’s so cramped, shoved into small panels by the relentless flow of words, words, words.

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BIG BROADCAST: John Ostrander Goes To The Bar!

BIG BROADCAST: John Ostrander Goes To The Bar!

There is no better way to end a week than a little trip to the local bar – and in comics the bar "local" to EVERYwhere happens to be Munden‘s!  For about 70 issues of GrimJack, Munden’s Bar was a fan favorite and now its coming back – and FREE – to ComicMix on Friday, October 5th. The Big ComicMix Broadcast sneaks you in the back door for a peek at the bar’s Grand Reopening as we talk with writer/co-creator John Ostrander and ComicMix rabble-rouser and editor-in-chief Mike Gold, plus offers a wake-up call for 24 Hour Comic Day, tells you how Nancy Drew (!) solves the DS (?), what Paul Dini’s up to, where Death Note is going, and how Daredevil sells out!

Pour us a cold one and PRESS THE BUTTON!

Mighty manga mania!

Mighty manga mania!

VIZ and Del Ray Manga are both pulling out all the stops for next weekend’s New York Comic Con.  Del Ray (Booths 458-459) will have numerous author autographing sessions, giveaways and special guests, who will also participate in panels such as Breaking into SF/Fantasy Publishing (Friday at 7), Future Shocks (Saturday at 11), Star Wars: Beyond 30 (Saturday at 4) and of course The Making of a Del Rey Manga (Sunday at noon). 

VIZ, which is joining Del Rey and others in the Manga: What’s Hot panel during Friday’s trade-only hours, will be making available cell phone downloads of  promotional trailers for their popular Death Note anime series on a one-time-only basis for cell phone downloads exclusively during the show at their booth (619).   The first trailer will be available Saturday and the second on Sunday. This marks the first time this well-known Japanese anime property is being made legally available to U.S. audiences for download. 

And of course the first annual American Anime Awards will be held at the con on Saturday night.  Hope there’s cosplay involved!