Monday, January 29, 2007

I WATCH ANIME: January roundup

With the slew of new shows on cable, in addition to what's already offered on-demand, and the occasional series I add to Netflix, I've Been more actively watching anime lately. Regardless of how many shows are offered on TV, or sought out, I only continue on if they're good, and there are a lot of really good shows right now.

Simply spectacular!The voice acting - it's mother fuckin Sam Jackson and Hollywood actors, not your run of the mil english translation done with the same overly sweet/goofy voice actors, who've done voices on countless other shows.
The music - it's scored by the RZA, the same former Wu-Tang Clan member who helped score the infamous Kill Bill soundtrack, and the music here is good.
The production - since AS is only 5 episodes (I think), essentially an OVA, the quality is not only high, it's 2 steps beyond, and throughout.
The design - from characters, to settings, and palates, AS has it all going on.
This is just plain stellar storytelling.
Mature animation, done right.
This is what I crave!

The buzz on this one was really good, in terms of concept, design, and production.
The first volume doesn't disappoint.EP is the story of a sci-fi future Earth where a completely controlled domed society utilizes robotic advancements, every citizen has an "entourage" - a cybernetic robot counterpart, that helps them with their daily tasks, and focuses on one special intelligence officer, granddaughter of the society's leader, as she follows the trail of an apparent monster running wild through the city.
The style here is fresh, and the detail is on par with the impressive Ghost In The Shell series, and should fill the void left by the ending of that great series.
View the trailer HERE

Two hated ninja tribes have their long ban on fighting lifted by their masters, as the next generation plans a marriage between young lovers on either side of the conflict. Filled with ancient superhuman ninja powers that are revealed only in showdowns as the tribes battle to claim 10 names from each side, and thus achieve victory.
The characters, the setup, and the outlandishly creative abilities all serve up one awesome visual treat that keeps you on edge.
Very good!

So far, I've only caught the first episode, as this one is on Anime Network on-demand, but what started out as a pleasing, solid, but not spectacular show, quickly turned into something really special by the end. Really looking forward to more of what looks to be great planet hopping sci-fi as multiple sides attempt to elude, capture or kill the other!
There also some imaginative ideas and characters at play here.
Check this one out!

So far GG has been very low key... long walks down quiet hallways, soft music, delicate voices, and not too much action. However, what makes the series work so far, are the themes at play within, underaged cybernetic girls who's only existence is that of trained killers who know nothing outside their world besides what their handlers tell them. It makes for an interesting setup that's fun to watch. Just don't expect non stop action (at least in the first 3 episodes).

Lots of good stuff out there!

While most of these shows are just underway (either on cable/on-demand, or DVD), AFRO SAMURAI is just about wrapped up on Spike. If you missed it the DVD is coming... I thought it was due in February, but a check on Amazon shows May, when both the edited and director's cut show available. So plan accordingly (looks like the Director's Cut has 15 minutes of extra footage)...

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