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Anime DVD Reviews
R.O.D. The TV
R.O.D. The TV
The most original and imaginative series we've seen in a long time, Read Or Die (ROD) is about 3 sisters who have a special talent in "Paper Master". Think of it as something like origami coming to life. They can make paper and books turn into animals and objects, from bulletproof dragons to lockpicks.
R.O.D. The TV
The story begins with Nenene Sumiregawa, a writer, whose life is threatened by another writer who can't get his books published. Here we see the sisters at work making incredible animals, a bow and arrow that work and even a wall to prevent a blast of shattering glass. One of the most amazing scenes on this DVD is the creation of a large bird which engulfs an airplane and lands it safely on the ground. Based on a popular OVA series, the TV version brings with it all the style and sophistication of the original. This anime is cute, funny and very entertaining. Recommended for everyone!

Gad Guard
Gad Guard
Gad GuardThis uber-cool series brings us back to the days of Gigantor, when humans didn't ride inside the robots but on them. The robots, called Techode's, are about 2 to 3 stories tall, and are born from a jewel-like stone that when touched by someone they begin a spiritual bond. Hopefully it won't happen near your brand new car due to all metal objects being sucked into a large whirlwind as the Techode begins to take form! Unlike Gundams with superior fire power, these guys go at it with just hands & fists.

This is a very cool anime with very nice opening sequence and score. It is very smoothly directed with an easy-to-follow the storyline. The hyper kinetic battles are rife with CG enhanced animation courtesy of the animation mavens at Gonzo.

Dokkoida!? - Ultra Diaper Man (Vol. 1)
Dokkoida!? - Ultra Diaper Man (Vol. 1)
If you thought Animation Runner Kuromi was cute, and Ping Pong Club was 'da bomb', you might want to check this out as well. The no-holds-barred nuttiness of this sci-fi parody (from director Hitoyuki Matsui of InuYasha fame) seems to combine every anime you've ever seen along with every bizarre cliche that is endemic to the genre.
Dokkoida!? - Ultra Diaper Man (Vol. 1)
From magical girls and crazed robot-driving scientists to live-action super-hero shows like Ultraman and Power Rangers, Dokkoida!? parodies the full spectrum of sensory overloaded pop-culture that has come to typify the rest of the world's view of Japanese entertainment. That's a fancy way of saying it's HYSTERICAL!

Sailor Moon Super S - The Complete Series
Sailor Moon Super S - The Complete Series
"In the name of the Moon, I shall punish you" - if you don't watch this super series! Available in its original, uncut story arc, Sailor Moon Super S, all 39 episodes in one super box set of 7 DVDs. For sailor Moon fans, this is a must-have.
Sailor Moon Super S - The Complete Series
Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara (creator of Utena), this shoujo series has enchanted girls the world over with its empowered female leads and has enticed adolescent males with its long-legged super heroines in short school-girl skirts (Rei Hino.... Mmmmm.) Although the plot centers around annoying Chibi-Usa (Usagi's yet to be born daughter), there's plenty of Sailor Scout action for guys and gals to enjoy.

Jonny Quest - The Complete First Season (1964)
Jonny Quest - The Complete First Season (1964)
If ever there was an American animated TV show that could be said to have inspired even modern day anime, this is it. Although the original ran only one season (26 episodes - in prime time!), Jonny Quest remains the most awesome-looking, intelligent, action-adventure cartoon ever made. Looking more like a graphic novel with its hard-edged, high contrast shadows, this show created a niche for itself and has never been equaled.
Jonny Quest - The Complete First Season (1964)
Although the DVD set has its problem (mostly due to gearing it to kids and not the 40-something Baby Boomers who will really appreciate it), we are just glad to finally have these kick-ass episodes available on DVD and the set is well worth the price. "Robot Spy" is at the top of the list as everyone's favorite episode, although "Mystery of the Lizard Men" and "The Invisible Monster" remain top picks with us.


Our Favorite Toys, Models and Gizmos
InuYasha 2005 Wall Calendar
InuYasha 2005 Wall Calendar
InuYasha 2005 Wall CalendarOkay, all you rabid zealots of the cult of Inu Yasha - get ready for the new year a little early, start buying your Christmas gifts ahead of time, and grab yourself (and a few extras for your friends) a copy of this hot 2005 calendar, illustrated by creator Rumiko Takahashi!

You'll know you've started the new year off right if you've got the DVDs, the soundtrack, the manga, the videogame, the plush toy and now the calendar and even the T-shirt! (sigh) If only he were for real, right girls?


 Anime.com Recommended Books:
Manga Mania Shoujo: How to Draw the Charming and Romantic Characters of Japanese Comics
Manga Mania Shoujo:
How to Draw the Charming and Romantic Characters of Japanese Comics

Shoujo is basically "girls manga", but don't be put off by that. Shoujo has become the hottest style of Manga/Anime within the last few years. shoujo is based on stories that focus on peer pressure, romance, and friendship, and occasionally, magical girl adventures. Anime mega-hits Card Captor Sakura and Sailor Moon had their start as Shoujo.
Manga Mania Shoujo: How to Draw the Charming and Romantic Characters of Japanese Comics
Best-selling author Christopher Hart once again reveals the secrets and techniques that go into building all the basics of the shoujo style - the big eyes, the miniscule noses, and the cute or angst-ridden expressions. In addition, artists learn to draw teen clothing styles and also different character types, from school kids and cute pets to "pretty boy" heartthrobs (Bishonen!). This book truly has it all and is a great reference as well as a fantastic "How-To".

Japanese Graphics Now!
Japanese Graphics Now!
It is without question that the Japanese have an appealing visual treatment towards graphic design. Even their packaging for dried noodles are enticing. This book gives a good sampling of some of the best Japanese design -- letterhead, web design, packaging, poster design, even TV ads (on the included DVD). There is something in here for every student of design and anyone fascinated by Japanese culture. Just looking through the book fills you with ideas and gets your mind going places towards 'thinking out of the box'.
Japanese Graphics Now!
Hundreds of pages of detail and wonderful pictures provide something for everyone, but mostly, what you get here is a look inside a different culture, with their own notions about negative space and color usage. It's an eye opening experience, needing a permanent place in your art library.

Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation
Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation
Most animation history books seem to begin and end in Hollywood with Disney and Warner Brothers. This book gives a more global view. Over a hundred years of film animation are covered, from the invention in France in 1888 to modern times. This book represents the first detailed history of animation produced around the world, with coverage of over 2,000 animators. Unknown giants of the field such as Jiri Trinka are covered, as is the fact that people were doing animation *before* Edison invented the motion-picture camera.

The book is translated from Italian, so the language can be stilted, and the scholarly approach means that it's not geared as light-reading. Nevertheless, this book really is *the* comprehensive reference on the subject and a must for serious anime fans.

Music and Soundtrack Selections:
Robot Carnival : OST
Robot Carnival : OST
Even though the super-amazing Robot Carnival is not available on DVD (will someone PLEASE put this anime classic on DVD?), the excellent, awesome and hysterical soundtrack is available for those of us that adore this flick. The music from "Presence" makes this album worth its weight in gold.

Jo Hisaishi (of Miyazaki flicks legend) composed most of the music, along with Isaku Fujita, and both do an outstanding job or creating catchy, eerie, and fun music that fits with each segment of the film perfectly. Not just for people who've seen the film, but for people that appreciate excellent music.


Upcoming Events and Cool Links:

Classic Jonny Quest
INCREDIBLE fan site for the classic Jonny Quest series!!

GirlCrush 2040
A live-action anime parody stage show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC.

Cat and Girl
Funny Web Comic. Grok Like!

Manga School
Learn to Draw Manga, the Peer-To-Peer way




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