< Piro >
Thursday - August 21, 2003
Seraphim and I will be at Canadian National Anime Expo this weekend in Toronto, Canada. We will be at the show Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most of the time, we will probably be at the Wizzywig booth (C32-33 in the dealers room). There are two Panels - one on Saturday at 2pm and one on Sunday at 11:30am. Both of these will be in Theater 1. Sarah and I are taking this as a bit of a vacation as well, so expect a DPD for Friday and a SGD for Monday :) - the comic will be back on track Wednesday of next week.
Also, those of you who will be at Anime Iowa this weekend, Wizzywig has a real good selection of MT merchandise that they will have availible at thier booth, so be sure to stop by and check it out if you want to pick up some MT merchandise.
A long time ago, I was a pretty sad example of an anime fanboy. I used to get four or five VHS tapes every week - either the latest shows in raw Japanese or fansubs garnered from trades to try to flesh out my collection. There were all these things that I just *had* to have. I would be the most devout fanboy of a show, and it was very important that I buy everything I could relating to that series. Then when something new came out, or some other show caught my fancy, I'd repeat the process all over again. Thank god I never owned a LD player - it was bad enough with just a VHS anime habit. Hell hath no hole as deep as the debt you could dig yourself into collecting LaserDiscs.
People sometimes ask me what my first 'anime' was. Truth be told, it was probably something like Speed Racer or Star Blazers when I was a kid, but to me that doesn't really count. The first 'anime' I ever watched was in the form of two VHS tapes rented from a local video store, things I rented because I was bored and I wasn't really sure what to expect. 'Project A-ko' and 'Urusei Yatsura' volume 1. It wasn't really these tapes the led to my downfall, but a small advertisement at the end of the Urusei Yatsura tape promoting a show called Kimagure Orange Road. That small bit of tape was enough to start me on the long downward spiral.
Funny thing is, these shows that I liked so much had existed for years, yet because I didn't know they existed, I didn't have a chance to find out about them until much later. Often we are separated from the things we enjoy experiencing not by lack of access, but lack of information. How many things have you enjoyed recently that may have existed and been available for months or even years? It all comes down to knowing about things.
Compared to when I first started collecting anime (just before AOL connected itself to the Internet, if that tells you anything) I just have one thing to say - you people are friggin SPOILED. :P Nevermind digisubs and the ability to watch fansubs of shows often less than a week after they air in Japan (fansubs used to not surface until months after a show first aired) just the selection of Anime DVDs to choose from today is mind boggling. When I started collecting, the anime section of the Suncoast was one small rack of about 30 tapes. Next time you feel like whining that the next DVD in some favorite series you are watching won't come out for another month - waaah, suck it up. :P
I've wanted to make some recommendations regarding Anime DVDs that I am either enjoying or looking forward to because, well... because I can. :) It's only recently that I've been actually sitting down to watch a few DVDs here and there (still not as much as I would like - things have been far too crazy around here) Some of these are really good shows, at least in my opinion. :)
The first DVD I recommend you pick up (actually, I should make a proclamation that all Megatokyo readers must buy this DVD, but that's going a little far ^^;;) is Haibane Renmei (Charcoal Feather Federation). I've already commented a lot about this series in past rants, but suffice to say it's one of my all time favorites. Done by the same guy who did Lain and NieA Under Seven (Yoshitoshi ABe) it's a pretty remarkable series. What's great is that a series like this is being released in the US market so soon after it aired in Japan. The DVD will be available starting August 26.
(small disclaimer - Pioneer advertises on Megatokyo, but my promotion of the DVD here is not connected with that in anyway. I'm just a huge Haibane fanboy. :P)
Another DVD that both Seraphim and I have been enjoying recently is Fruits Basket. Fruits Basket is the story of a girl who finds herself living with a family who turn into animals of the Chinese zodiac when they are hugged by someone of the opposite sex. Sound ridiculous? not really. It's a highly amusing and funny series, and I have really enjoyed it. What's really neat about it is that the English dub is wonderfully well done - and I usually dislike English dubs. All four DVDs are out, I believe, so it's pretty easy to find.
Remember back when I asked people to guess what anime series Kimiko's hairstyle was from? I don't think I ever provided an answer. It is from an unusual little series that has influenced my work quite a bit over the past few years, and it's really nice to see it finally out on DVD. Risky Safety is the story of a girl named Moe and two little spirits, a Shinigami named Risky and an Angel named Saftey. More than the story, I am very fond of the style and the feel of the show. The show is a little unusual because each episode is only 15 minutes long, but there are eight 'episodes' on the DVD. The cutest feature of the DVD of course is the fact that you can reverse the insert to display either Risky or Safety, depending on your mood. Disk 1 is out now, Disk 2 will be available in September (there are 3 disks in all).
Another DVD set that I am looking forward to picking up soon is the first Maison Ikkoku Box Set #1 DVD. Maison Ikkoku is a classic anime that is about 96 episodes long, and one that most old schoolers like myself worried would never come out on DVD in proper format. What's really cool is that they are offering 12 episodes in a box set for a really reasonable price (not too much more than just one DVD) - there will be 8 boxed sets in all. Maison Ikkoku, both the manga and the anime, have influenced me quite a bit over the years, and it was one of the first sets of manga I ever purchased (in Japanese, that is). Its awesome that Viz is releasing the series in this way - and hopefully it does well enough so that we can see the rest of the series released as well.
That's enough for this review session - I still have a few other DVDs that I'd like to recommend, and I'll do so over the course of the month. It's safe to say that these four are at the top of my watch/buy list right now.
What I really need to do, however, is borrow that box set of the Kimagure Orange Road TV DVDs from a friend, and smack Animeigo around to get them to release the OAVs in DVD format. :) Maybe next time. :P
Oh, one last thing - looks like the Megatokyo lanyards are now availible from the ThinkGeek Store. Check em out :)