Media | Anime Releases | October 30, 2007: This week stands out if only for the fact that the Phoenix TV series is being released. Lots of box sets this week too. Prepared with the help of The Digital Bits and cover art courtesy of Amazon.

Roundup by Mightyblue | Posted Oct. 29, 2007

Pick of the week

Phoenix - Vol. 1
I understand that Osamu Tezuka is a famous guy in manga and anime circles. I also understand that this is a pretty good adaptation of what is arguably his magnum opus, Phoenix. So, uh, what are you waiting for? The show follows the titular bird of fire through various important historical (and some fantastical) events intended to prompt the viewer to ponder the deeper meaning held within the events, and on life itself. Thoughtful and complex, itís the sort of thing that only comes along once in a great while. Regardless of your feelings on anime, please do not miss this show.

The Other Stuff

One Piece: Vol. 11
Iím not terribly fond of most shounen shows (i.e. male-teen-oriented action-heavy fare), as they tend to be horribly repetitive and shallow. My only exposure to this series is one or two episodes of the atrocious 4Kids hack job for American broadcast -- which isnít collected in this set, thankfully Or is, actually with an apology to everyone -- but Iíve been told itís actually well thought out and entertaining. So those interested in the adventures of a grinning Mr. Fantastic with a pirate hat wonít be disappointed. Probably. I make no guarantees! (Make this a rental just to be safe.)

Lupin the 3rd: The Fuma Conspiracy
One of the many movies and OAVs about legendary thief Lupin III, this one dating from 1987. It centers on some ninja breaking up Goemonís wedding and holding his fiancť hostage for a key to some treasure. Itís no Castle of Cagliostro, but then what is? Grab it, once you get past the incongruity of Goemon getting hitched.

Air TV, Vol. 3
Iím normally a fan of game developer Key's work, but Air just didnít grab me at all. Itís a drama-slash-romance centering on a wandering magician who seeks the object of a family legend in a small town. It offered some solid character development and a fair amount of hint-dropping and foreshadowing, but it also suffered some serious problems with pacing and plot. Not surprising, given that this is based on a visual novel that covers far more material than a 13 TV episodes and two OAVs can really cover. Rental.

Angel Feather
As a sort of awkward, make-me-feel-really-weird counter to last weekís Kashimashi, I present Angel Feather to the ladies. Itís a short, 2 episode OAV based on a shounen-ai game (thatís "boy's love," yessir) about a young boy who transfers into a school in search of his long lost twin brother. Then supernatural stuff starts to happen and all the pretty boys find magical powers and stuff and oh God do I feel dirty just typing this. Gah. Skip it.

Anime Boxsets and Other Things of a Swaggy Nature

Lots of huge full-season collections this week, and none of the less-than-useless swag editions. First and most notable is the entirety of Fighting Spirit (aka Hajime no Ippo, also called Victorious Boxers in the videogame world because, uh, American licensees are idiots); it's split into two collections that each cover half of the 75-episode TV series. That is a lot of punching! Great Teacher Onizukaís second season also shows up, along with the first season of Bleach. Recommendations on all three honestly, since Fighting Spirit is a really cool (and well-loved) show about boxing, Onizukaís features the misadventures of a hoodlum-turned-teacher, and Bleach is one of the better shounen action shows of the last couple years.

The Other "Other" Stuff

  • Basilisk Vol. 1 (buy) [reprint]
  • Basilisk Vol. 2 (buy) [reprint]

A bit of a small week, but I'll take this kind of quality over a flood of crap anyday. If nothing else, check out Pheonix and Netflix Fighting Spirit. Meh. I still feel unclean after typing up that Angel Feather entry. Discuss it on the Forums!