The following is a list of some of the products that I have bought from
the Books Nippan mail order catalog over the past few months and some
thoughts and descriptions about them.
I feel this might be handy for some of you new comers to anime like myself
who are thinking of getting some of these items. If you folks find this
listing interesting and handy, please send me some feed back, and I will
do monthly updates since I am always looking for new and interesting anime
stuff. Come to think of it, if you folks have any products that you have
bought that you would like to comment on, please E-mail them to me and I
will include them with the next list.
There are no prices listed here since this is not a catalog. Also, even
though I have bought these items at Books Nippan, there are also several
other good places that sell these items such as WYVERN WEB GRAPHICS.
By the way, here are the addresses of two of the best sources for
Japanamation stuff in the US:
WYVERN WEB GRAPHICS
P.O. BOX 560805
ORLANDO, FL 32856
BOOKS NIPPAN ANIMATION FAN CLUB
1123 DOMINGUEZ STREET, UNIT K,
CARSON, CA 90746
Please send any questions or comments to my E-mail address 75156,1067 or
post me a message here in the forum.
MACROSS BGM COLLECTION : If you are thinking about getting some of the
music from the Macross Movie and the TV series, this disc may be all you
will ever need to buy! It is an outstanding value since it contains the
contents of two regular LPs from the TV series (BGM Volumes 1 and 2)
and most of the contents from the first LP volume of music from the movie
(No Minmay songs are included on this disc). The playing time is about
72 minutes which is about as full as a Compact Disc can get. The
orchestral and Jazz influenced instrumentals on this disc put most all of
the film and TV music done here in the United States to shame! I rate
this as a MUST HAVE in any Macross anime collection.
MACROSS SONG COLLECTION : Original Japanese Minmay songs all in the soft
rock and pop vein with a few soulful romantic ballads thrown in. I wish
I knew the name of the woman who does the singing here because she
really does have an excellent voice. The Japanese Minmay tunes here are
FAR superior to those done for ROBOTECH here in the US. If you like
Minmay or music from Macross, this disc is an excellent collectors item and
a good companion piece to the MACROSS BGM COLLECTION.
MACROSS: DO YOU STILL REMEMBER LOVE : This is the first volume original
soundtrack album of music from the Macross Movie. Unlike the Macross BGM
collection, some Minmay tunes are included on this record. A very
representative collection of music from the movie.
GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA BGM VOL. 1 : The quality of music that the
Japanese create for TV shows continues to amaze me. And this album amazes
me even more! Cool Jazz instrumentals with plenty of horns, and HOT Rock
vocals makes me recommend this album highly! Some great electric guitar
solos and some Yellow Bellmont (aka Yellow Dancer) songs. I can't wait
until my copy of volume 2 arrives!. By the way, if you liked the song
"Lonely Soldier Boy" from ROBOTECH, check out the version here! EXCELLENT
SOUTHERN CROSS BGM ALBUMS, Volumes 1 to 4: This has to be my favorite
collection of music from any of the anime shows and movies so far. The
music covers instrumentals and vocals in pop, rock, and light Jazz
categories. Most notable here are the excellent piano solos and use of
horns. Well crafted pop songs such as "Walking in the Sun" and "Deja Vu"
are among some of the vocal highlights. My favorite instrumental is
"Red Bioroid" on volumes 1 and 4. The volume one version of this tune is
done in the instrumental style of The Police.
It should be noted that not all of these volumes contain original
music from the show. Volume 4 is a synthesized interpretation of some of
the more bouncy and soulful instrumentals from the show. Volume 3
is only recommended if you understand Japanese, since it is actually an
original audio drama. Most catalogs will not list these differences.
Volumes 1 and 2 are the volumes that should be considered original
soundtracks from the series.
Fans of Peter Gabriel will also note that some of the instrumentals
done for the show are note-for-note plagiarized music stolen from a couple
of Peter's albums. No credit is given to Gabriel for having written these
tunes. Oh well...at least they are played well.
The only one everyone seems to recommend to me is ANIMAGE. It is also the
only one I have seen so far, but I would strongly recommend that you
at least get one copy to see for yourself. Even if you can't read
Japanese, this magazine is so visually stunning and informative, and you
just can't put it down. It will also give you some insight as to what
animation is really like in Japan and also what is coming in the future.
This is also another example of something that could never be done in the
US where animation is concerned: a great magazine about nothing but
(These are all also available on VHS and BETA tape)
MACROSS: DO YOU STILL REMEMBER LOVE (THE MACROSS MOVIE): Quite simply,
this movie is a must see for any ROBOTECH or Macross fan. One of the best
animated films ever made (and, in my opinion, makes STAR WARS look pale by
comparison). This spectacular film features much higher quality animation
than the animation that was done for the original series. It also boasts a
fantastic stereo sound track (Minmay never sounded better). The movie
centers on the SDF-1's return to Earth, but presents entertaining
variations on the original story as presented in the series (even Roy dies
in a more plausible way here, that is if you can call any of this
plausible!) One of my all time favorite films!
NAUSICAA IN THE VALLEY OF THE WIND: To quote the BayCon Japanese Animation
program guide, "If you only watch one animation movie, this should be the
one. It is a breathtakingly beautiful masterwork created by a genius
working at the peak of his powers. Aided by an exceptional soundtrack
[composed by Joe Hisaishi], Miyazaki Hayao has produced what is
undoubtedly one of the greatest animated films of all time. DON'T MISS
IT!" See this, and be amazed!
ARION: This story, which is really about a boy and his sword trying to
rescue his girl, boasts a pretty complex plot based VERY loosely on Greek
mythology. I personally like this movie alot, although some of the other
folks here on the Comic Forum found the story a bit too complex and slow-
moving. Nobody can argue about the excellent animation though! Created and
directed by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu, this film features EXCELLENT graphics,
character designs and superior action scenes (even LucasFilm would have
trouble trying to match this films fantastic closing scenes). Fantasticly
stylized scenes of violence are skillfully mixed with beautiful settings
and experienced direction. This film also has a state of the art Dolby
SurroundSound Stereo soundtrack that will set your woofers pounding. The
music for the film was done by the same gentleman who did the music for
Nausicaa, Hisaishi Mamoru. Arion was just released this summer, and is
more than well worth a look.
AREA 88 The Movie: This is only available in this form on laserdisc. It is
actually Area 88 Acts 1 & 2 combined into one long film (both acts are
available on video tape, and Act 3 has just been released). It is the
story of Shin Kazama, a young man who has been tricked by a "friend" in
into joining the Modern French Foreign Legion (See the story outline
available in DL5). If you like solid drama and planes, planes, planes,
this is for you. It's considered one of the best original video series
(shows just created for distribution on video tape and disc) yet made.
I found this show to have a MUCH more involving and entertaining plot than
the movie TOP GUN. And it has better action sequences too. Great music
also. Highly entertaining and recommended.
ORGUSS MEMORIAL VOLUME 1 - MOOHM'S DREAM: If you have never seen the TV
show ORGUSS THE SUPER DIMENSION CENTURY before, this video is not a good
place to start. But it may be the only chance you have to see it since
none of the original uncut episodes have been released on tape or disc
yet. This video is actually composed of snippets from several episodes
from the show edited together into one pretty lame romantic triangle type
love story. Any clue as to the original plot of the show is gone, and many
major characters are not represented.
The laserdisc version of this video does has some advantages over the
taped version though; 1) It's cheaper, 2) the picture and sound quality
(stereo sound) is better, and 3) if you are a fan of artwork by Hiruhiko
Mikimoto, this disc is recorded in the CAV mode so you can get rock-still
freeze frames to study the art and animation.
There is a second volume to this disc, but I don't know if I will
risk getting it or not.
THE BAYCON JAPANIMATION PROGRAM GUIDE: No fan of Japanese Animation in the
US should be without this great little book. It is VERY inexpensive and
contains english plot summaries of more than 40 anime feature films and
TV shows. This book was created for a marathon showing of anime films at
BayCon '86 (I think it was about 72 hours or more of films shown non-
stop). The people who assembled this deserve all the praise in the world.
THIS BOOK IS A MUST HAVE ITEM!!!!!!
THE ART OF SERIES: This is an ongoing series of books published by
Animage. Each book takes a behind the cells look at how several major
works of animation were created (each book covers a different show). Pick
up at least one of these ultra-quality books based on any of your favorite
anime shows and you will learn alot about how the show was made. Each book
features tons of color stills, original artwork, and explanations of plots
and special effects. Some of the books also illustrate plot concepts and
ideas in development, and also point out rejected designs and plot
elements. My favorite book that I have bought so far is THE ART OF
MACROSS PERFECT MEMORY: This is the considered to be THE best book ever
published on the Macross TV series. It has just been re-issued in limited
quantities, so if you want one, ACT NOW because this could be the last
time it is ever available!
This large format paper-bound book (about 9" X 12" and around 250
pages) is PACKED with every bit of information about Macross that you
might ever want to know. It has full color stills from the show, character
designs and profiles, and HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of mecha and scene designs
and specs. It makes ROBOTECH ART 1 look sick! THIS IS A MUST HAVE FOR ANY
MACROSS THE MOVIE DELUXE: What MACROSS PERFECT MEMORY was to the TV show,
MACROSS THE MOVIE DELUXE is to the movie. It is one of the most lavish and
expensive books I have ever seen done on any movie ever! QUALITY and
QUANTITY abound here. Here is the description of the book from the Macross
Fan Club news letter:
"This is the ultimate collector's item for the Macross collector. If
you've ever seen it: you know how beautiful it is. If you have it:
you know how great it is. How do you describe perfection to someone
whom has not perused the pages of this magnificent piece of art?
The best we can do is to tell you that it has something like 360
pages of full color beauty. That means you get the whole entire
Macross movie: Do You Remember Love, Summer '84, cut by cut, depicted
on the first part of the book. Then there's character designs
, mecha, backrounds, etc. The other half of the book contains black
and white production sketches; evolution of characters; evolution
of mecha; and even the evolution of the Zjentraidai. There's even
more character analysis, and if you read Japanese, a very large
section at the end of the book has alot of writing about the movie.
Actually, the print quality of this book makes everything else look dull
in comparison. But wait: there's more! You get a bookmark size strip
of actual animation film from some part of the movie (every book
is different). There are approximately 6 frames per strip. Wait!
There's even more: there is a poster, too. If you ever wanted to
transform your F-14 Tomcat into a Valkyrie fighter: this poster
would be the first place you'd look! The poster is a technical layout
of a VF-1S, including the fun facts that you always wanted to know
(so you can impress people at conventions) like how much a
Valkyrie weighs and how much fuel it carries...etc. So anyways, this
book is great. Ask anyone who owns one!" I own one, and it's GREAT!!!
Well that's it for now, I will be making additions to this as I find more
interesting anime products I think you should know about.
Remember to send any comments, questions, additions or corrections to me,
Tom Mitchell, 75156,1067. I would love to here about any anime tapes,
discs, books, records and CDs that you think are outstanding.
Happy New Year!