Media | Anime Releases | October 23, 2007: Lots of good, or at least decent titles this week, but with a few craptastic entries. Prepared with the help of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

Roundup by Mightyblue | Posted October 22, 2007

Pick of the week

Hell Girl - Vol. 1
This week’s pick also happens to be my entirely arbitrary “October Horror Recommendation.” Hell Girl is a horror series, very much in the style of Ringu (aka The Ring) and pretty much every Japanese horror flick from the '90s on. The story follows the tales of those who summon the Hell Girl -- the Jigoku Shoujo -- to obtain revenge or justice against those who are bullying or otherwise messing with them. Of course, there's a price attached to her services. This is a beautifully-animated show that tends to focus on darker colors that fit its mature (and ofttimes creepy or violent) subject matter. If you can handle Japanese-style horror flicks, you should be in comfortable territory here.

The Other Stuff

Super Robot Wars: Original Generation
So a good number of the forumites here -- myself included -- are secret Atlus fans, and those who have played the Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation games may find themselves in familiar waters. Swap out "Wars" for "Taisen" in the show’s title, and you’d find that this is an OAV sequel to the Original Generation 2 game. Clearly it was created more for fans than for normal humans, but at least Bandai was nice enough to put all of the OAVs in a single two-disc box. Even if it is kinda spendy.

Pumpkin Scissors, Vol. 1: Honor and Blood
Action and drama, mixed with a bit of comedy and romance, all blended together with missed potential! In other words, a stereotypical Gonzo show. It takes place in a world of World War II-level technology and a strained peace agreement between several rival nations in the wake of a lengthy war. The story revolves around a section of one of these nation’s information bureau, which has been tasked to handle post-war reconstruction efforts. Problems with plotting, pacing and consistency all trouble the series, making it fall short of the excellence it could have achieved if, you know, someone other than Gonzo had produced it. A rental.

Prince of Tennis - Set 3
This is based off of one of the most famous (and longest-running) manga in the world -- and as you might have guessed, it’s all about a tennis genius. Like most sports manga (and anime), Prince of Tennis focuses almost entirely on its characters, their drives and of course their matches. The series doesn't offer much in the way of an overarching plot or goal, but that’s not really necessary for character-driven shows anyway. The series ran to 178 episodes in Japan -- not counting the movie and ongoing OAV episodes! -- so if you jump in this early you can expect to be in for the long haul. If you don’t mind picking up DVDs for years or making liberal use of Netflix, check it out.

Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl, Vol. 3
Most guys have probably wondered to themselves what it's like to be a woman, though of course no one really expects to find out. Unless you’re psychic or something. Hazumu’s not that lucky, as he finds himself crushed beneath a crashing spaceship and is promptly resurrected in female form by the apologetic but apparently incompetent aliens. If your reaction to this is, “Huh?”, gentle readers, this is a sign that your mind is healthy. The show only gets more outlandish from there, as the focus quickly becomes the love triangle between the boy-turned-girl’s female childhood friend and his crush from when he was still male, and almost completely puts the whole aliens thing on the backburner until the end of the series. Lots of “yuri” and lipstick lesbianism present, along with a big glob of sappy, depressing romance. Please to be avoiding.

Anime Boxsets and Other Things of a Swaggy Nature

A few box sets see the light of retail this week, weighted mostly on the "collection" end of the spectrum rather than the grim "swag" side. These new collection include: Basilisk Box Set, Inu-yasha Complete Deluxe Movies Box Set (Limited Edition), and Slayers Collection, Vol. 2: OVA Collection. The sole swag edition is for Hell Girl. The Slayers and Basilisk boxes are the only real recommendations here, but the Slayers OAVs come before the actual TV series, so watch the OAVs first for the full experience.

The Other "Other" Stuff

  • Burst Angel, Vol. 5: Line in the Sand (rental)
  • Burst Angel, Vol. 6: Guardian Angel (rental)
  • Galaxy Angel AA, Vol. 3 (avoid)
  • Paniponi Dash, Vol. 6: Chaos Cum Laude (rental)
  • Rozen Maiden Traumend, Vol. 1: Puppet Show (avoid)
  • Le Chevalier d’Eon, Vol. 5: Volte-Face (buy)
  • Mushi-shi Vol. 3 (buy)
  • Karas: The Revelation (buy)

A bigger release week than usual means more material to talk about, and more genuinely crappy material to rip a new one. As always, comments and ideas for the column are welcome. Discuss it on the Forums!