"Reviews and Information on Japanese Animation Software"
ISSUE 14 11/18/1990
This is the 14th in a series of files of comments and reviews of anime
(Japanese animation) items that we have bought. Please direct all comments
to us by E-mail or post us a message in the Forum. We also welcome any
reviews, artwork, or comments you would like to have included in the next
ANIME STUFF issue. Also please send us any comments about any incorrect
information contained here. A correction will be placed in the next ANIME
The ANIME STUFF Staff...
- Tom Mitchell : Editor, Writer, Graphics, CompuServe & GEnie Distributor
CompuServe Address : 75156,1067
GEnie Address : TOM-M
- Masaki Takai : Writer & BBS System Distributor
CompuServe Address : 75106,3257
- Mike & Janet Naylor : Writers
CompuServe Address : 76074,1631
- Rick Sternbach : Anime Modeler, Writer
CompuServe Address : 74616,526
- Jude George : USENET Distributor, Writer
CompuServe Address: 72307,1752
USENET Address : email@example.com
- Barry Brown : INTERNET Distributor
INTERNET Address : >INTERNET:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Albert Wong : Writer, Index Research
CompuServe Address: 72657,2103
Internet Address: Albertw@chips.com,
Prodigy Address: WJTM10B
- Dave Handy : Graphics
CompuServe Address: 72017,1703
Contributing Authors for this Issue:
- Patrick Minyard
CompuServe Address: 76407,2342
I just wanted to thank all the folks who have written to me about ANIME
STUFF over the past few months. It's amazing how many readers in Europe
and Australia we have. Everyone seems to really enjoy our spouting off
about our new anime finds. What's so shocking to me is the fact that many
folks have this newsletter as their only source of information about
anime. Yikes! It wasn't so long ago when I didn't know anything about
this stuff myself. (It's been 5 years this Christmas since I first saw
the MACROSS MOVIE.)
Anyway, please enjoy the latest issue. I've got to get back to reading
the stack of manga and anime magazines I'm currently swamped with.
- Tom Mitchell
/////////////////////////////GIF GRAPHICS NOTE\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
The GIF format graphics for this issue are presented in 640 X 400
monochrome format. All the graphics for this issue were prepared by Tom
Mitchell. Here's a list of files:
AS14G01.GIF: The cover for this issue featuring a digitized picture of
Madoka from Kimagure Orange Road.
AS14G02.GIF: A shot from the live portion of Bubblegum Crisis Hurricane
Live 2033 featuring a couple shots of Maiko Hashimoto
singing the hit song SAY YES.
AS14G03.GIF: Another live shot from Hurricane Live 2033.
AS14G04.GIF: A shot of Kei & Yuri at the controls of the Lovely Angel
from the new OAV DIRTY PAIR - THE FLIGHT 005 CONSPIRACY.
AS14G05.GIF: Madoka shouts her count of the 99.5 steps at Kyosuke from
the first episode of Kimagure Orange Road.
AS14G06.GIF: A Kimagure Orange Road poster featuring Madoka digitized
from the end credits to the KOR OAVs.
AS14G07.GIF: A portrait shot of Vampire Princess Miyu.
AS14G08.GIF: A shot of pop star Vision from Bubblegum Crisis 7 - Double
AS14G09.GIF: Another shot of BGC 7's Vision singing the hit song SAY YES.
////////////////KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD SPECIAL REVIEW SECTION\\\\\\\\\\\
A SUMMER SPENT IN SUMMERSIDE...
As far as my anime viewing and collecting went this Summer, I spent the
most of my time completing my Kimagure Orange Road collection. From June
to August I collected the entire TV series, saw the Orange Road movie, and
began to follow the new OAV series. Not to mention filling out my CD
collection with new discs of music from this show.
Now that I have seen the whole series, I can truly say that this is a
very special show. Its mix of sentimental romance and wacky situation
comedy is handled in a unique and skillful blend. And I found that the
show boasted characters that I could not only identify with but care about
too. The story of Kasuga Kyosuke's struggle to combine love and the
perfect girl turns out to be a struggle with himself. And that lends a lot
of depth and heart to this psychic family comedy that could have easily
been another BEWITCHED or I DREAM OF JEANIE clone.
Now I can identity with all those fans who were so dissapointed when the
show went off the air a couple of years ago at the end of the second
season when the story was completed. Certainly, there hasn't been any TV
anime like this since. And I wonder about the future of Kimagure Orange
Road. The TV show pretty much followed the manga, and completed the story.
Orange Road in its present OAV incarnation is going back and animating
manga stories that were not used in the TV series. There can't be many of
those left. And then there is the Orange Road Movie. A film that truly
ends the present story. Will Orange Road continue beyond this? Certainly
there are some things left unresolved...Madoka still doesn't know about
the Kasuga families powers!
After seeing the entire show, and seeing so much of it over the Summer,
when I came to the end of it I felt like I was leaving old friends. Good
art should keep the audience entertained, and great art should add
personal involvement and emotion to the mix. Kimagure Orange Road was a
- Tom Mitchell
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD TV SERIES ON LASERDISC (VAP VIDEO, 70061-78 to
70072-78, 7,800 YEN EACH, CLV, MONO SOUND)
The entire 48 episode run of the Kimagure Orange Road TV series is now
available on laserdisc from VAP video. Like Anime Stuff staff member
Masaki Takai, I too have now collected all 12 laserdisc volumes of the
show and I thought I would add some comments on my own about how VAP
Video's laserdisc presentation of the show turned out. It's interesting to
note that the show was put out on laserdisc a year ahead of its being
available on video tape.
It goes without saying that the show itself is now an anime classic. But
as with the Dirty Pair TV series that VAP issued on LD, VAP falls short of
giving it the best treatment on LD possible. The show is presented on 12
laserdiscs that feature 4 episodes each. Chapter stops are used to allow
access to the "teasers" and opening titles, the first half of each
episode, the commercial break and second half of each episode, and the
closing credits. All the episodes are presented on the discs in order.
The video quality of the video transfer of the episodes is very good. I
feel lucky that I was able to see the entire series on LD rather than on
tape or broadcast TV. The quality of the laserdisc format really shows off
the details...and the flaws...of the animation. My only real problem with
these LDs are that once again VAP video did not take advantage of digital
sound! Come on VAP! For some reason, VAP does not use digital sound on
disc releases of TV shows. Perhaps they feel that the sound quality
doesn't justify it. Hey, the less hiss and more dynamic range, the better!
Digital sound really helped the sound of the Macross TV series on
laserdisc, so it's been a shame that we didn't get it on Dirty Pair and
now Kimagure Orange Road. Unlike VAP Video, TOHO Video has been doing a
wonderful job with providing digital sound on their KOR Movie and OAV
releases. So, other than my bone to pick with the sound, this laserdisc
set is a really nice release. The very best way for a fan of Orange Road
to collect the show. Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention that each disc
has an original pastel painting by Orange Road character designer Akemi
Takada for its cover. Beautiful!
- Tom Mitchell
THE KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD MOVIE - "I WANT TO RETURN TO THAT DAY" (TOHO
LASERDISC, TTL-2134, 9,249 YEN, LETTERBOXED, CLV, DIGITAL STEREO)
The TV series ended with Kasuga Kyosuke going back in time and setting
up his destiny with Ayukawa Madoka. The final episode ends with Kyosuke
and Madoka sharing their first kiss together. The end was brilliant and
touching. But even as Kyosukes's love with Madoka is sealed with a kiss,
there is still one big problem left unresolved: Hikaru!
The Kimagure Orange Road movie is a very hard film to watch for KOR fans
as this is truly the end of the story. It's not the fact that it's the end
end of the story that is so hard to watch, mind you. No, it's how the
story is ended that makes it tough to sit through. You see, this story
resolves the love triangle between Orange Road's three main characters.
But it doesn't just take the triangle apart; it tears it violently!
Possibly taking their friendship with its destruction. Kasuga Kyosuke must
make a decision between the two women he loves, and the results aren't
The film starts out with Madoka and Kyosuke heading off to a local
college. As they walk through the campus, Kyosuke is startled to hear the
voice of Hikaru! But it is not Hikaru. Rather it is another girl asking
her boyfriend to come an see her in a play...The very same question that
Hikaru asked him several months ago during the Summer. The camera pans
around him as he flashes back, and we "return to that day" when Hikaru
told him that she was going to be in a school play...the black and white
film turns to color and the story of Kyosuke's personal hell begins.
I will try not to give too much away about what happens in the film
because there are so many surprises here for fans of the show. I would
like to comment on the striking contrast in direction the film takes. This
film is almost totally somber and serious. There are almost none of the
comedy elements from the TV series present here. There are none of the
Kasuga family's telepathic powers used. The lecherous pair Komatsu & Hata
don't bug Kyosuke's sisters, although they still bug Kyosuke when they
should be studying for college entrance exams. Kyosuke's sisters and other
relatives don't give him a hard time. Hikaru's tough-guy admirer Yusaku is
also gone. Has he given up beating up on Kyosuke and trying to win
Hikaru's devotion away from him? And even the harried family cat
Jingoro seems older, fatter, and more lethargic.
It's a hot Summer, and Kyosuke and Madoka are under a lot of pressure
getting ready for college enterance "exam hell." To Hikaru, it's just
another Summer, as she is a year younger in age. The tension is so
palpable that you can tell that something is going to give. Kyosuke's life
is about to change, and those plans don't include Hikaru. It is only
Madoka that he now has anything in common with.
The interesting and frustrating aspect of the TV series was the love
triangle that teenager Kasuga Kyosuke has found himself in. Kyosuke was
just mad about the beautiful, talented, and mysterious Madoka. And he
works hard to get next to her "kimagure" (capricious) heart. But along the
way he picks up the unswerving total devotion of Hikaru; a very cute and
emotional girl who is Madoka's best friend. He even begins to find a place
in his heart for her. And if it wasn't for Madoka he would even probably
love her as much as the love-blind Hikaru thinks he does. But in an
unspoken promise, for fear that they might hurt Hikaru's delicate heart,
Madoka and Kyosuke keep their relationship secret. Buy the time we get to
the events in the movie, things have built up to the point that it would
crush Hikaru to learn of their love.
The interesting twist to the movie is that throughout her life Madoka
has been Hikaru's most trusted friend and protector. And yet, I feel that
if Orange Road has a villain, it would be Madoka for stringing Hikaru
along like she does and hiding her feelings about Kyosuke. This is even
more apparent when she leaves it up to Kyosuke to tell Hikaru, after they
decide to bring things in the open. She never sees Hikaru again after
that. And Hikaru suffers badly, unable to let Kyosuke go. She even tells
him that she saw through their secret all along but still tried to win him
over with her charm anyway. Kyosuke still has a place in his heart for
Hikaru, but they are more than just friends and he makes his choice and
tears himself painfully from her to be with Madoka. Thus their friendship
breaks up, but it is not quite the end as they go their separate ways...
A lot of fans didn't like the tone and outcome of this film, and have
thus written it off. But I enjoyed it thoroughly. I felt that the level of
emotions, and the playing against audience expectations was was a
brilliant and entertaining twist that is rarely seen in films today. It
was a realistic end to an impossible and emotional relationship, and was
far more daring a story than I would have ever imagined it would be. But
like other beautiful and emotional anime films such as WINDARIA or GRAVE
OF THE FIREFLY, it can be tough to watch. The KOR movie is quite an
emotionally draining artwork.
Technically speaking, the animation is a cut above the TV series. As are
most feature film translations of anime TV shows. The film also boasts
quite a wonderfully engineered stereo soundtrack and a wonderful
background music score. Among the best of the excellent music that KOR has
produced. The laserdisc of the film is superb. It's presented in digital
stereo sound with a "letterboxed" picture that preserves the full aspect
ratio of the feature film.
For the Kimagure Orange Road fan, this film is a must-see! Or if you
enjoy a tragic love drama, well they don't get more gut-wrenching than
- Tom Mitchell
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD OAV EPISODES ON LASERDISC: "I'VE TURNED INTO A CAT
AND A FISH" (CAT # TTL 2157), "HURRICANE! HENSHISHOUJO AKANE" (CAT # TTL
2158), KOINO STAGE HEART ON FIRE! HARUHA IDOL" (CAT# 2164) (ALL FROM TOHO
VIDEO, 4,944 YEN)
Presently new episodes of Kimagure Orange Road are being produced as an
Original Anime Video series. Episodes produced for release on videotape
and laserdisc. Like the last "Color Postcard" OAV series, this series
continues to bring to the screen stories from the manga that were not used
in the TV series. The nice thing about the current OAV series is that the
animation and sound quality have been upgraded quite a bit. Particularly
when compared to the TV level animation of the Color Postcard OAVs WHITE
LOVERS and HAWAIIAN SUSPENSE. These new episodes are gorgeous looking and
sound wonderful. We even have some new BGM to enjoy. And the stories
themselves are very entertaining, although they do not advance the KOR
The first new story, "I've Turned Into a Cat and a Fish" is a riot. One
of the more wildly funny KOR episodes animated. In the story, Kyosuke's
grandfather brings home an old magic rope with a very special power. If
two living beings hold each end of the rope at the same time, it will
switch their minds! Of course this little item is going to cause the
Kasuga family a lot of trouble. And it does...mainly to Kyosuke of
Through a series of wild mishaps Kyosuke's spirit is first switched into
the body of the family's pet goldfish and accidentally winds up at a
goldfish sellers booth at a local fair. A fair in which Kyosuke was
supposed to meet Madoka and Hikaru for a date. As his family tries to find
the missing pet with Kyosuke's mind in it (you should see what happens to
Kyosuke's body at home with the goldfish in control!), Madoka and Hikaru
buy Kyosuke at the goldfish seller's booth! The girls are dissapointed
that Kyosuke didn't show up. Little to they know that they are carrying
him around in a plastic bag full of water. All is not lost for Kyosuke
though as he is able to get a candid fish-eye view of Hikaru's feelings
for him when he is placed in a glass in her bedroom.
Using the family cat's (Jingoro's) sense of smell, they trace the
goldfish down to Hikaru's house. They have the magic rope with them. They
use their psychic powers to sneak into Hikaru's house after Hikaru leaves
to see Madoka. But Jingoro's hatred for the goldfish causes another
accident to happen and this time the rope lands on Jingoro and the fish!
Now Kyosuke's mind is trapped in the body of the family cat! (Just imagine
how Jingoro must feel being a cat trapped in the body of a fish!)
All the commotion in Hikaru's bedroom causes the sisters to leave with
the goldfish but they must leave Jingoro behind...and soon Kyosuke as
Jingoro is discovered in Hikaru's bedroom and chased out of the house by
Running out of the house, Kyosuke literaly runs into Madoka and is
knocked out and covered with red wine that Madoka was bringing back from
the grocery store. Madoka meets with Hikaru and they have a contest to
have the cat decided who will get the cat overnight. Madoka ends up
tricking Hikaru into letting her have the cat...Kyosuke, as usual can't
decide between the two girls...and Kyosuke stays overnight with Madoka.
Kyosuke gets a glimpse of Madoka as she readies herself for a bath that
night. Meanwhile, his family starts a strange psychic ritual back home to
draw Kyosuke's mind back into his body...
In the end Kyosuke saves Madoka from a gas leak in her house when the
pilot light in the water heater burns out. She begins to reward "Jingoro"
with a kiss! Will Kyosuke receive his first kiss with Madoka as a cat?
Watch the episode for a funny surprise ending.
I thought the next episode, "Hurricane! Henshishouju Akane," was a
little odd for its rather uneven ending. In this story, Kyosuke's Summer
vacation is interrupted by a visit from his cousin Akane. Akane is trouble
for Kyosuke for three reasons; her forceful & mischeivious personality,
her psychic talents that include the ability to teleport and hypnotize
people into thinking she is someone else, and the fact that she is a
The first two-thirds of this episode is a comic chase as Akane falls in
love with Madoka and schemes to get Madoka away from Kyosuke. After all
she she's that Kyosuke has Hikaru and he's pretty mean to turn her down
for a swimming pool date when he has plans to play tennis with Madoka. How
can he treat such a cute girl that likes him that way?
So, all hell breaks loose at the local sports club and swimming pool as
Akane pretends to be Kyosuke to get closer to ruin his relationship with
her and to get Kyosuke closer to Hikaru.
This final third of this episode is very different in tone from the
first parts. Madoka and Akane go on a date to meet Kyosuke at Club Mobeus.
Madoka seems to be upset with Kyosuke and the days events and she lets
herself get very drunk at the club's bar despite Akane's protests. (We
know that Madoka can handle alcohol better than Kyosuke can, so she must
have been drinking a lot!)
A group of guys had been watching Madoka and Akane at the bar and decide
that now would be a good time to move in and molest them. They move in on
the girls and capture Akane. Madoka is about to put up a fight but she is
so drunk that she is defenseless, so she sees that they are threatening to
hurt Akane and she begins to give up.
At the same time Kyosuke arrives in the bar and sees that the girls are
in deep trouble. He shouts at the punks, but is caught by two of them who
were watching the stairs hidden. He is brought down and forced to watch as
they are about to rape Madoka. Everything slows as we see the leaders hand
reaching for Madoka's top about to expose her breasts. Kyosuke can't get
free to save her so he has to make a decision to use his powers in public.
He does, and his anger lets loose furious bolts of energy that shake the
Bar violently. Everyone is knocked to their feet.
In the end, the thugs are arrested for messing up the place, and Madoka
and Kyosuke are brought closer by Kyosukes bravery. But, does Madoka know
about Kyosuke's powers or does she think like everyone else does that it
was some freak earthquake or something? In the end though, Akane leaves
with a new respect for Kyosuke.
The next story,"Koino Stage Heart on Fire! Haruha Idol," is the first
episode of a multi-part story. As I write this, the second episode is out
now but I have not seen it yet. So, I don't know how long this story goes
on. This story is more of a romance comedy. As Kyosuke is taking a break
from his studies, he sees posters around town announcing the fact that
idol singer Mitsuru Hiyakawa is coming to town as part of a rock-band
talent search contest. Kyosuke walks down the street and begins to
daydream about what it would be like to be as famous as Hiyakawa, and how
he must not have to worry about such things as schoolwork.
At the same time Hiyakawa is running from a group of his fans. He just
about gets away, but bumps heads with Kyosuke. And of course, because of
Kyosuke's psychic powers, they switch minds. And Kyosuke learns first hand
what the life of an idol singer must be like. In the course of the story,
both Kyosuke and Hiyakawa learn valuable lessons about themselves and the
woman they love. I don't want to give too much away as it is a simple and
sweet story. But it does open up a big problem for Kyosuke; What will
Hayakawa do with the knowledge of what happened? I understand this is
addressed in the next episode.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first three episodes of the new KOR OAV series.
The stories were a lot of fun...and could be inserted almost anywhere in
the TV series in terms of their continuity in the storyline. And the
production values are excellent for such short OAVs. Each episode runs
under 30 minutes. I understand that after the 2nd HEART ON FIRE episode
that there are two more KOR OAVs coming out. I can't wait! I just wonder
how many stories in the manga there are left to animate?
- Tom Mitchell
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD SOUNDTRACK MUSIC ON COMPACT DISC:
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD SOUND COLOR 1 (CAT# LD32-5049)
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD SOUND COLOR 2 (CAT# LD32-5056)
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD SOUND COLOR 3 (CAT# LD32-5067)
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD MOVIE : "I WANT TO RETURN TO THAT DAY" SOUNDTRACK
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD OAV BGM : MOGITATE SPECIAL (CAT# TYCY-5119)
One of the things that made me want to check out Kimagure Orange Road
was our anime poll that we did in issue 10 of Anime Stuff. KOR shared most
of the top honors right along with Bubblegum Crisis. And one category they
were virtually tied in were the best music categories. I'd followed BGC
since it first came out and really enjoyed its music. I had always
wondered about Orange Road, but was too busy with other things to really
check it out. But everyones overwhelming response to the show in the
voting got my curiosity up, and I proceeded to check it out. Now, of
course, the show is one of my all time favorites. And I've been feeding my
CD player a steady diet of the show's wonderful music all Summer long.
It's some of the best soundtrack music I have ever heard. And certainly
some of the best ever done for any TV series. I know what I'll be voting
for in the next poll!
There are a lot of KOR albums out now, so I thought I would provide some
comments on 5 of the best ones; the actual collections of soundtrack
music. I would recommend all 5 of these albums to any music fan. And I
think that for the KOR fan, these are the 5 albums to have in your
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD - SOUND COLOR 1: This is the first volume of music
from the TV show. And a good introduction to the "sound" of Orange Road.
The music here practically touches on all forms of popular music. Pop,
Rock, Jazz...It is quite a varied and lively album! The standout cuts are
the lush pop songs by Kanako Wada, and KOR's opening theme song NIGHT OF
SUMMERSIDE, a bouncy pop song with nice vocal harmonies and guitar work.
This album features most all of the background music used in the early
episodes of the show. My favorite of the TV soundtracks. (Listen to track
5, the MADOKA'S THEME sax solo. If you listen closely, you can hear a full
orchestra in the background! The mix with the sax and the orchestra
together doesn't show up until Sound Color 3. Looks like both were
recorded at the same time, with the orchestra taken out of the mix here.
But some of the sound leaked back in through the microphone on the sax!)
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD - SOUND COLOR 2: Of the 3 TV series soundtracks,
this one is the most quirky. Lush jazz and rock themes clash with silly
action and surprise themes. Although all of the music here is excellent,
my favorite tracks are ORANGE MYSTERY, a great follow up to NIGHT OF
SUMMERSIDE with neat backing vocals, and the romantic BACK TO RED STRAW
HAT TIME, the theme heard whenever Kyosuke ponders his problems with
Madoka. The music here mixes more of the music from the middle and later
portions of the TV series.
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD - SOUND COLOR 3: This album features some of the
more somber and lush instrumentals from the show. The wonderful Kanako
Wada songs are also more introspective and romantic. The compositions here
are more technically sophisticated as well. (Sort of reminds me of the 3rd
volume of music from Bubblegum Crisis in that it is less playful and more
serious in sound and composition.) Again, the music here is a mix of BGM
from the 2nd and 3rd portions of the the TV series for the most part.
Presently this 1988 album is the last of the TV series soundtrack.
Although there is enough music from the show not included on the Sound
Color Series to do a 4th volume. I hope one is made! But this series of
records covers most all of the major themes.
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD MOVIE SOUNDTRACK - "I WANT TO RETURN TO THAT DAY":
This is the most sophisticated sounding of all the KOR records. A
technically superb album! The KOR sound here changes, taking away the
saxophone, and letting a vibraphone have the center soundstage! The
instrumentals are mellow and romantic...with some Rock and Roll thrown in
for your toes. Kanako Wada's vocals are just too damn romantic...she's
incredible here! Next to KOR SOUND COLOR 1, this is my favorite KOR BGM.
KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD - MOGITATE SPECIAL: This album contains music from
the current OAV series. It boasts an outstanding new opening theme song
for the show called CHOOSE ME. And the piano is the featured instrument
here, which really sounds wonderful. Some of the other pop songs take some
time to warm up too though, I feel. Still, the music here is a cut above
most anything else!
- Tom Mitchell
BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 7 - DOUBLE VISION (ON LASERDISC, TOEMI VIDEO,
TOLA-1066, CLV, DIGITAL STEREO, 9,470 YEN)
I have a lot of mixed emotions about this latest BGC video. On one hand
this episode looked good, and sounded great. On the other hand, it did
absolutely nothing to advance the BGC story which is in dire need of some
push before we get to the planned episode 13 and find the show's story has
not really gone anywhere since the first episode. Genom is as naughty as
ever. Another head villain gets away, a new boomer shows up and gets
This episode is a continuation of sorts of the events in BGC episode 2.
As it turns out, the young girl Irene who was killed by Genom's lady
boomers in the episode was the sister of the American female pop star
named Vision. Vision is on a world tour. But this time out she is leading
a double life. Using her tour as a cover, she is planning to avenge her
sister's death when she gets to Japan. She plans to kill Genom's CEO
Vision must know that Quincy doesn't show up in very many accessable
places often, so she plans to kidnap a top Genom scientist in order to
draw him out. It just so happens that she also has a wealthy family that
made a fortune in high-tech science that is backing her in this venture
with a technical crew and a spider-like boomer-crunching attack vehicle
called the "Genki".
Her first attempt on the Genom scientist fails when she and her team are
in Galveston, Texas. The spooked scientist gets back to Japan and hires
the Knight Sabers, of all people,for protection. The Saber gals view this
as an ideal chance to get closer to Genom in their own plans for
destroying the evil men who run the company. In another hit attempt in
Mega-Tokyo the Knight Sabers have their first run-in with Vision's Genki.
In a stupid move on the Knight Saber's part, Priss in sent out alone to
stop it and gets clobbered after a close fight. (Gee, two Knight Sabers
might have beat the thing).
Now, Vision has her scientist and challenges Quincy to show himself in
order to get the man back. Quincy accepts the challenge because he needs a
test for a new bio-mechanical boomer called "Frankenstien" that he is
building. On the day of the big fight set in the Floating City, the
Frankenstien boomer kicks the Genki's tin butt, and Vision and her team
are saved by the Knight Sabers. As it turned out the Quincy that showed up
at the fight was once again an android copy. (I won't give away the rest
of the ending...)
I left out a lot of detail in that short synopsis because there are a
lot of interesting little surprises and well done scenes in the episode,
despite the go-nowhere story. I wonder about where the show is going
because Priss was supposed to die, but fan popularity kept her alive.
Vision was going to be a character to replace her. Now we've had Priss'
character in emotional limbo for two episodes, and a new character that
I'm sure none of the BGC writers know what to do with. Vision is a neat
character, but there's no room for her now. Will this episode be a
one-shot appearance for her? At least we got a couple of good tunes out of
her. Oh well, Priss moves better on stage anyway, if we ever see her
Now I think I know why BGC 8 which was planned to be released in
September is nowhere to be seen. The phrase "writing yourself into a
corner" comes to mind. (BGC 8 - SCOOP CHASE has now been set for release
in the end of January.)
- Tom Mitchell.
URUSEI YATSURA TV SERIES LASERDISC SET (50 discs) * Kitty Video
KFLD-1001/KFLD-1050 * Y300,000 * 5116 minutes (85 hrs. 18 min.) *
Available only to members of KAC (Kitty Animation Circle)
My first reaction upon seeing the box the set came in was
"Gosh, this thing is BIG!" Then I picked it up... A person
could use this set to workout with, since weighs in at a hefty
46 pounds! This LaserDisc set has got to be one of the things
an anime collector dreams of getting (I know I did! - grin).
Upon opening the container it was shipped in, I was surprised
to find not one, but two separate boxes delicately packed within
styrofoam cushioning. Each box contains 25 LaserDiscs.
The cover artwork for each LaserDisc jacket is different and they
are done by different artists. The artists that did the covers for
the Urusei Yatsura LD set are: Akemi Takada, Hidetoshi Omori, Atsuko
Nakajima, Yuji Moriyama, Takafumi Hayashi, Maaski Kannan, Asami Endo,
and Setsuko Shibuichi. Most of the artwork on the covers I have not
seen before. Some of the artwork, however, I have seen in back issues
of "Animage" and "Animedia". I'm not sure if the artwork is the same
as the previous UY set, but the artwork sure is nice!
Each disc varies in the number of episodes put on it. However, all
of the discs are in CLV. There are anywhere from 1 to 8 episodes
per disc (the disc with only 1 episode is the last disc, which is
26 minutes long). Unfortunately, the entire soundtrack was recorded
in monaural, but then again most anime TV series (if not all) were
recorded with monaural soundtracks.
I haven't had time to watch all of the episodes yet (hey, there are
*218* of them!). Maybe I'll just set aside 4 days straight to have
a UY marathon...
- Patrick Miyard
DOMINION OAV SERIES - ACT IV (TOSHIBA LASERDISC, SF048-1639, STEREO,
DIGITAL SOUND, 38min, 4,666 Yen)
As we left off, Leona and Bauku were pulled into the whirling blades of
a sewage treatment plant. See AnimeStuff Number 12 for a synopsis of
Dominion Act III.
Inside the treatment plant, Leona and Bauku are saved because of a
transmitter on Leona's uniform. The machine detected heartbeats and
shutdown the blades in the nick of time. Escaping from the treatment
plant, they wander around the sewers. Suddenly, Leona and Bauku are
ambushed by a squad of Red Commandos. With "The Innocent" in hand, the
pair scramble to safety. They manage to escape the commandos with the
help of a few well-placed hand grenades. Climbing out of a manhole, Leona
and Bauku disappear into the city.
Meanwhile, under the sewers, the Tank Police and the Red Commandos are
arguing about who let Bauku escape. Afterwards, Britten drives away in
his tank, in tears. He tries to commit suicide but he decides not to
shoot himself when Alu tells him that Leona has been spotted in the city.
In another flashback sequence, Bauku is back in the secret lab. The
experiments are continuing. The data from the experiments are inscribed
one a picture that ends up being "The Innocent". That's why Bauku is
willing to give his life in order to save the painting. All of a sudden,
the lab is attack by armed troopers. The scientists are murdered and the
whole lab is confiscated.
Inside a truck, the lab equipment including the human subjects are being
taken to an unknown destination. Bauku regains consciousness and attempts
to drink out a can taken from the lab. Inside the can is a clear liquid.
(It had something to do with the experiment?). As Bauku drinks, the truck
makes a sudden stop. bauku and the can fall out of the truck. The truck
drive on. Bauku is left to survive in the city on his own.
Later, Bauku has set up his camp in a doorway. At lady drives up and
tosses Bauku a bag containing a gun and a large sum of money. The police
drive up later and beat and arrest Bauku for robbery. Bauku has no idea
why this is happening to him.
Back in the present, Leona is studying "The Innocent". She notices that
there is something behind the picture. Bauku explains that the "master
data" of the experiment is inscribed in the picture.
As they talk, the leader of the Red Commandos in his helicopter gunship
appears and demands that Bauku hand over the picture. From a nearby
building, spotlights illuminate the Red Commandos and their gunships.
Yunipuma and Annipuna announce themselves and Bauku's gang. As if that
isn't enough, the Tank Police also drive up.
It's a three-way standoff. Leona picks an inopportune time to sneeze
and all hell breaks loose. Bright lights and loud sounds follow and a
full fledge war breaks out among the three sides. Leona with Bauku in
tow, take off in a borrowed motorcycle. Two Commando gunships give chase.
Alu, in Bonaparte chases them also. Bonaparte manages to down on both
gunships with some fancy driving.
Exhausted, Leona has trouble paying attention to the road and is almost
crushed by an oncoming truck. They crash into a nearby fence.
Conveniently nearby, feeding his chickens, is the Police Chief. The
Police chief is surprised by Annipuma and is taken hostage. As Bauku and
gang are preparing to head off to the secret lab, Leona begs that Bauku
release the Bio-dongle still around her neck. Annipuma is surprised that
Bauku would help the Tank Police. He gives Leona a spray that will
release the Bio- Dongle.
- Albert Wong
THE VENUS WARS (ON LASERDISC, EMOTION VIDEO, BELL-255, 5,974 YEN)
Sometimes its as important to see a movie to find out why it failed to
become a hit as it is too see the "blockbusters" and the "classics". Two
of my all time favorite live-action films BLADE RUNNER and TRON were
visually spectacular and innovative, but failed at the box office because
of deficiencies in direction, scripts, and marketing. Those films great
art and technical skill could not overcome the fact that they did not have
a story to attract more than a cult audience. Such is the case Yoshikazu
Yasuhiko's latest film, THE VENUS WARS.
Several years in the future, the planet Venus is provided with
conditions for terraforming by an icy comet the collides with the planet.
Over the following decades, mankind has created a new home on the planet.
Of course, he has also brought politics, and in time war.
The story centers around a group of motorcycle racers who fight for the
freedom of their nation as a commando style force and are soon conscripted
into their nations army. We follow them about as they make a game of war
with their skills only to be used and dissalusioned by the politics of
their own nation while at the same time they help to destroy the forces of
the evil invading powers.
This film has a lot of problems on several different levels. The largest
of which is the story. For being set in such a possibly fantastic setting,
it is so dull and unimaginative. It is a straightforward, black and white,
predictable good and evil story. No twists and no real suspense...You can
see the deaths of the baddies and the happy ending coming a mile away. I
thought this was quite a dissapointing surprise for such an imaginative
artist and director like Yasuhiko (YAS). It's almost as if the man who
nearly told us too much of a story in his epic adventure film ARION,
answered his critics by telling a story that was too simple.
The characters in the film are the next problem. There are too many of
them and they are under-used. The crew of the Killer Commando racing bike
team are filled with stereotypes as well. But at least most of them are
far more interesting than the bland hero of the film...a young man named
"Hiro" of all things. We really don't know what motivates him to do the
things he does. He's just a device. He has no depth. All we know is that
he is a great motorbike rider and that he's generally pissed with the
"government"...any government...for messing up the fun he was having as a
racer. Truly a rebel in search of a cause. His motivation seems selfish.
So, there is nothing there for us to feel for him. I really don't care if
he lives or dies. He's a very lucky delinquent and that's all. At least in
YAS' ARION, we had a hero that took charge and had real goals and perils
to deal with. Hiro may look like Arion, but he is ever hardly in charge of
anything. Hiro, it would seem, goes with the flow.
Even the background music to this film is bland. The famous Japanese
background music composer Jo Hisaishi did the music for the film. But this
time the score is generic action music with no real distinct character. In
fact, I really felt that is sounded like a pale imitation to his wonderful
soundtrack for ARION.
Before you think I totally hated this film, it did have two aspects that
I thoroughly enjoyed. YAS's talent as an animator and character designer
really shines through. The animation in this film is really gorgeous , and
the character designs are pure YAS. Like my favorite films TRON and BLADE
RUNNER, VENUS WARS has a lot of problems with story, direction, and
characters, but gosh it sure looks great!
- Tom Mitchell
SOL BIANCA LASERDISC (NEC Avenue # N60L-13 , CAV, Y6,180, 55 minutes)
For those of you who enjoy movies of the "Gall Force" genre, then you'll
most likely like "Sol Bianca." Sol Bianca is the name of a spaceship in
which 5 girls (all sisters) travel in. The names of the sisters are:
Fuebu, Eipuriru, Jyanii, Jyun, and Mei. They seem to be space pirates,
because in the beginning of the video, it shows them raiding a ship and
taking jewels, weapons, and clothing (and even a stowaway!). They find a
boy, Rimu, amongst the items they took from another ship. The girls
attempt to return Rimu to Tres, the planet he was headed to. While
attempting to do so, Eipuriru, Jyanii, Jyun, and Rimu end up captured by a
military dictator who has frozen Rimu's mother and practically enslaved
his father. The girls finally get out with the help of Fuebu and they
manage to rescue Rimu's parents from the destruction set forth by the
military ruler. The end of the video shows the girls heading off into
space in the Sol Bianca towards a familiar looking planet... There is an
interesting section on the LaserDisc after the video. The disc puts the
LaserDisc player (well, at least mine) into still-frame mode where you can
view character designs, mecha designs, and miscellaneous sketches one by
one. Also, included with the LaserDisc is a computer floppy disc with
text files on "Sol Bianca." Well, even though it's an MS DOS disc, it's
the Japanese version. If you don't have access to a NEC PC-9800 series
PC, then you won't have much luck in reading the files (figures, huh? -
- Patrick Minyard
CRYING FREEMAN OAV VOL 1&2 LASER DISC (CAT# LSTD00180, 4,800 YEN)
The new Crying Freeman OAV series is a technically superb new anime
series that left me with some mixed reactions. This is one of the few
times that I have seen an OAV series based on a manga where I have read
the manga before seeing the film. Most of the time I end up going back and
reading the manga if the anime based on it catches my interest. So, this
time I came into this OAV series armed with the knowledge of the story of
the manga. And you know what? I wish I didn't read the manga, because is
has clouded my judgment of how the OAV episodes work as stories on their
Crying Freeman is a wonderfully drawn and loosely plotted action manga
created by two famous Japanese manga authors, Kazuo Koike, and Ryoichi
Ikegami. It is the wild story of Yo, a young internationally recognized
Japanese pottery artist who one day finds that he has become valuable to
the Chinese mafia. They see him as the perfect candidate to become head of
their crime organization, and
he is quickly pulled in against his will. And soon finds himself trained
to be one of the world's most feared assassins. Working with his hands and
feet in ways he never thought possible through intense martial arts
training. His former life as an artist is now a "cover".
The manga is masterfully drawn in a realistic style, and features a
story that is filled with sex, violence, wonderful characters, and subtle
character development. The video features everything the manga has,
except...well...the plot, and the character development.
The video is basically a "Reader's Digest" version of the manga. In the
100 minutes used in these first two episodes, it packs all the manga's
visceral punch, but none of the depth. The manga didn't have a lot of
depth to begin with, but what it had isn't here. But every nuance of the
manga's sex and violence is retained and presented in superbly animated
My only real complaint about the Crying Freeman video is that there is
virtually nothing of Yo/Freeman's background and training shown. Hence
none of his motivation or personal struggle shows through. I wonder how he
must look to the audience seeing these videos who did not read the manga.
I imagine that he must look like a very handsome human killing machine who
for some unknown reason has the love and devotion of a beautiful young
woman named Emu, a fantastically trained body, some really neat toys, and
a position of great power, but no freedom of his own. It does not add up
how a pottery artist could have achieved all this, unless you go back and
read the manga. The funny thing is, this story did not take long to set up
in the manga, and had these two 50 minute episodes added another 10
minutes each they would have had plenty of time to tell the whole story.
Ah well, even if you haven't read the manga, this is still one of the
most stylish and colorful action animes ever made. It not dull! And it's
never tame. For the manga fan, these videos will work as a great visual
synopsis to some key scenes from the manga. What the Crying Freeman videos
do show from the manga is startlingly close, almost panel for panel, from
The quality of the laserdisc of these videos is excellent. Great disc
quality combined with a superb video transfer is just the ticket for
showing off the Freeman OAV's excellent artwork. The stereo soundtrack is
average. Nothing startling about it's production or engineering. And the
BGM for the series is not very distinctive. Just flat BGM wallpaper. I
guess what they saved on the sound, they reinvested in the visuals.
- Tom Mitchell
MEGAZONE 23 PART III ACT I LASER DISC (EVE'S AWAKENING) (CAT# MAJ-1,
6,800 YEN) MEGAZONE 23 PART III ACT II LASER DISC (EMANCIPATION DAY) (CAT#
MAJ-2, 6,800 YEN)
Megazone 23 is one of my favorite OAV series. Parts 1 & 2 were lively
and exciting; full of great visuals, music, and action. It is also unique
in that a different group of artists work on the production with each
episode. The story and characters may be the same but, but the look of the
episodes and character designs change. With good production values, MZ23
also became an OAV classic and set the standard for OAV production in the
When we broke the story that there were new Megazone 23 episodes going
into production last year, I was really looking forward to seeing them.
The production was going to feature character designs by one of my
favorite character designers, Hiroyuki Kitazume. And the story would be
set 200 years into the future. When ads and previews for the PART III
episodes started showing up in the magazines, the excitement mounted due
to the slick looking art and computer graphics featured in the ads. I got
a hold of the soundtrack CD first, and it was wonderful and innovative!
It looked like this was going to be a wonderful new addition to the
Megazone 23 saga for us fans. So imagine my dissapointment when it turned
out to be the most dissapointing OAV production of the year! The two
Megazone 23 Part III OAVs are terrible. Mostly ruined by extremely poor
animation quality; frame rates so low you can count them at times, poor
background paintings, VERY sloppy cell work. The cell painting is so bad
that all the characters look flat with only one or two levels of flesh
tone. You can see brush strokes in the cell painting of the mecha during
the action scenes! Facial features are drawn witout any depth and improper
perspective. Kitazume's slick character designs are totally ruined by poor
renderings. Truly a shock after the sumptuous animation and character work
featured in Megazone 23 Part II!
The story itself is also very bland and could have been saved by good
animation . But, instead it is made even worse by the poor production
values. The story features a high-tech enclosed society centered around
computer culture that has become repressed by the people who control the
systems. The city is clean and enclosed, reminiscent of the city in the
film LOGAN'S RUN. Everything about the story and the society in which it
is set goes against the type of lives led by the characters who were left
surviving at the end of part two. The reason that little handful of
society was left alive was so that they would not create a repressive
society again. They were hand picked for this reason. And the kids left
alive in part two were not all rocket scientists and brain surgeons. Do
you really think they could have built such a high-tech society in two
hundred years? Just a few generations? I don't mind the fact that the
story was set so far into the future. That is a very exciting notion. But
there is no sense of evolution on history presented. No real link to the
past, except for the computer generated character EVE, who guides the new
characters in revolution again, and gets shot into space in a senseless
next faze of evolution called "Project Heaven". The story presents a lot
of neat ideas; cyberspace games, and automated closets. But it's all form
with no function. No attempt is really made to fit any of these things
into the story effectively, or relate them to the past Megazone 23 history
with more than a mention of what happened before.
The quality of the video transfer is also very poor. Everything looks
duller than it should, and perhaps out of focus at times; just looks how
the opening titles are barely visible on the screen! The laserdisc was
JVC/VICTOR's first attempt at issuing laserdiscs after years of refusing
to issue anything in the format in support of their own VHD format in
Japan. The poor video quality is made even worse by poor disc quality. JVC
has brought VHS video quality to laserdisc. If JVC still hates laserdiscs,
they really show it here. It also makes me wonder how bad the video
transfer must have looked on the VHS tape versions of the videos. It's
interesting to note that the JVC/VICTOR logo is nowhere to be found on
these discs or their jackets. The obviously are not happy with the fact
that they've had to start pressing laserdiscs.
I have trouble recommending this whole mess to even diehard Megazone 23
fans. It is an insult to anime fans that such a major title as this
received such cheap and sloppy treatment. A show like this truly makes you
wonder about the health of animation in Japan.
- Tom Mitchell
BUBBLEGUM CRISIS MUSIC VIDEO - HURRICANE LIVE 2033 (ON LASERDISC, TOEMI
VIDEO, TOLA-1070, CAV, DIGITAL STEREO, 4,800 YEN)
Yes, this video is a sequel to the first Bubblegum Crisis music video,
called Hurricane Live 2032. The first video presented the early hit songs
from the OAV series set to clips from the first 3 episodes. More
importantly, the first video presented some new original animation in a
short musical segment that illustrated how the Knight Saber girls got
Although the new 2033 video does not have any new animation, it does
have an interesting surprise of its own. This time a few of the songs are
presented live in concert by the women who do the voices for the
characters in BGC. Although the girls are rather short on stage presence,
they and their backup band sure sound good. It's an interesting change of
pace to hear some of the BGC hits done live.
The selection of songs covers the hits from episodes 4 to 7. Probably
the best tune has to be Maiko Hashimoto's live vocal of SAY YES. The song
must have been pretty popular with the fans because it really got the live
audience going the second they heard the first few bars. The tune is also
the only tune that mixes the live performance with animated scenes of BGC
7's Vision character in concert.
If you enjoy the songs from Bubblegum Crisis, this disc is a lot of fun.
But if you are not a fan of the show, you might be better off getting the
CDs that feature a collection of the songs from the show since you'll get
more tunes. But for fans, the disc will show you the real faces behind the
voices of the show, and have a chance to enjoy some new live versions of
your favorite songs.
- Tom Mitchell
DIRTY PAIR FLIGHT 005 CONSPIRACY SOUNDTRACK - LOVE SONGS COMPACT DISC
(STAR CHILD/KING RECORDS, KIKA 2, 3,000 YEN)
The new Dirty Pair FLIGHT 005 CONSPIRACY OAV has yielded a wonderful
soundtrack album that presents the listener with something new for a DP
soundtrack album...ROCK & ROLL! The hard edged OAV needed a tougher sound
and gets it with this soundtrack album.
The album is a nice change of pace to the open, sometimes cheaply
produced pop sound of previous Dirty Pair soundtrack efforts. The album
contains a handful of really well done pop songs ranging from a sad
ballad (KUCHIZUKE - LOVER'S WARM) to kick-butt rock (WHAT DO YOU WANT?).
All of the songs tainted with sadness and regret. A more serious tone
musically than what we are used to. The rest of the album is
instrumental BGM from key scenes in the film. Mostly slick and catchy
synth work, and probably the nicest done for a Dirty Pair film so far.
This is an excellent soundtrack effort for the Pair. And
its harder edge and more careful individualistic production is a nice
change of pace. Highly recommended for fans. Oh, and don't forget to
check out the CD itself...it features a great silkscreened full color
graphic of the pair inviting you to take the disc for a spin!
- Tom Mitchell
DIRTY PAIR CD SINGLE - RUSSIAN ROULETTE/SPACE FANTASY (EASTWORLD/EMI
RECORDS, XT10-2296, 937 YEN)
As the title says, this CD single contains the opening and closing
themes from the soundtrack of the Dirty Pair TV series. Sung by Meiko
Nakahara, RUSSIAN ROULETTE, and SPACE FANTASY are bouncy pop tunes with
almost rap like rhythm in the lyrics that perfectly framed the opening and
closing titles for the TV show.
Meiko Nakahara seems to have a fine voice, and handles some of the high
notes in the song rather well. (Unlike most Japanese idol singers who
might do a project like this.) The songs as they are presented here are
much longer than the versions used in the credits for the show, so they
feature some extra lyrics and some nice instrumental passages. It makes
this short little two song CD3 a nice value.
Aside from the disturbing cover picture of Nakahara-san holding a
revolver to her temple, my only complaint with the CD is its sound. The
sound is very compressed and does not feature a lot of dynamic range. In
fact, it really just sounds like a very good stereo television broadcast.
Fortunately, the toe-tapping Dirty Pair TV themes are worth having despite
the sound quality of the disc.
- Tom Mitchell
DIRTY PAIR OAV SERIES ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK MINI-ALBUM (VAP RECORDS,
22004-15, 1,401 YEN)
This little disc is the soundtrack to the Dirty Pair OAV series. Yes, I
mean little! It's the only soundtrack album release that I can think of
for a major anime that was released on a CD-Single (CD-3). Fortunately,
the record makes good use of just about all of it's 20 minute length.
The album features the opening and closing themes to the OAV, with extra
music and lyrics. I particularly love the snappy opening theme called BY
YOURSELF. And there is more of it to love here. There are a total of nine
tracks on the album. Eight of them contain all the major new bits of
music that were created for the OAV series. Track 8 is a special treat
for DP fans...It features a bunch of recorded messages from the Dirty
Pair for use on telephone answering machines! Hahah! My only regret is
that they don't have one with Mugi answering the phone.
The sound quality on this disc is excellent. Although the instrumental
sound of the new music for the OAV is a bit sparse, the opening and
closing themes have a very lush production sound to them. A nifty little
disc that is about as much fun as you can have with a little 3" piece of
acrylic and aluminum.
- Tom Mitchell
BUBBLEGUM CRISIS 7: DOUBLE VISION CD (Toshiba/EMI #TYCY-5126, Y3,000)
Those of you who are looking for another Bubblegum Crisis soundtrack in
the tradition of earlier albums (e.g. BGC #1) with some upbeat rock songs,
you won't like this CD! The Bubblegum Crisis 7 CD is somewhat like the
BGC 6 CD, complete with "squeaky idol singers". I can tolerate these type
of songs (and even *like* some of them!), but I felt that the ones that
appear on this CD just won't do. As for the BGM, it is reminiscent of
past BGC CDs, with that futuristic genre of synthesized music. The only
vocals that I like from this CD are: "Say, Yes!", "Here In the Dark", and
"Never the End". Maybe in the CDs to come, they'll go back to the same
kind of music along the lines of the first few BGC CDs put out. I'd hate
to hear a BGC where they have nothing *but* idol singer type music!
- Patrick Minyard
With the release of the Bubblegum Crisis 7 - Double Vision soundtrack we
are greeted with a continued slide in the quality of BGC music.
Fortunately the damage wasn't as bad this time as the album has left us
with two very good pop tunes that appear in this latest BGC OAV episode.
The BGC 7 soundtrack continues the trend of bubblegummy pop music filler
that first appeared with the BGC 6 soundtrack. Soundtrack volumes 1
through 5 featured rock songs and instrumentals that provided much of the
atmosphere for the OAV. The music on these albums were among the best done
ever done for any anime...OAV or otherwise. But, for whatever reason, it
seemed the well had run dry with volume 6. Only half of that album music
appeared in the video, and the rest was a selection of terrible throwaway
pop-tunes used to pad out the rest of the album. In my review of the album
I said that the soundtrack for BGC 7 would confirm if the BGC 6 music was
a fluke or some terrible new direction that the music of Bubblegum Crisis
The BGC 7 soundtrack would seem to confirm the fact that we are on the
road to pop-music hell. What next? New Kids on the Buma? Well, at least
this album is not nearly as bad as the last one. I enjoyed the
instrumentals used in the latest OAV. And the two songs NEVER THE END and
SAY YES that are sung by the character Vision in the OAV are really hot
pop tunes! BGC can produce great pop songs when it wants too.
Unfortunately the rest of the album is again padded out with throw-away
pop songs again.
I enjoyed this album a lot more than the last thanks to the songs NEVER
THE END and SAY YES. And the new instrumentals stood out a little better
this time as they weren't totally spoiled by the bad pop as much as on the
BGC 6 soundtrack. This is not a great album...it's really only one for the
fans of the show to collect...but it's a little better than the last time
- Tom Mitchell
PATLABOR CD VOLUME 5 - "INQUEST" : PATLABOR THE MOVIE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
(WARNER-PIONEER, 29L2-94, 2,900 YEN)
Basically an extremely well recorded album of high-tech synthesizer
themes. Moody, bubbly, and gurgling. Kenji Kawai's music manages to suit
the mood for all of the major scenes in the brooding and action-filled
PATLABOR MOVIE. In a movie about computers and robots, his clean and
precise themes suit the film well. But unless you, like me, are a sucker
for well recorded and repetitive synthesizer music, you may find this
album a little vapid. The music suited the film well, but may not hold up
for listening on it's own for everyone. The best themes from the movie are
probably the music for the opening action scenes and the haunting music
for the scenes featuring the detective's investigations in to some
Tokyo slums. Those themes are represented here in all their thumping and
clanging digital glory.
- Tom Mitchell
VAMPIRE PRINCESS MIYU BGM COMPACT DISC (PONY CAMYON D28G0087)
In his Vampire Princess Miyu OAV series, Hirano created a disturbing
tale of dark dreams and darker spirits. The background music that was
integral in creating this eerie atmosphere has been gathered upon a single
compact disc, providing nineteen tracks of softly haunting music.
Collected from all four Vampire Princess Miyu volumes, this disc provides
forty-five minutes of music, and is an excellent supplement to the video
Almost entirely instrumental, the music for the main part is a duet of
graceful piano and mysterious synthesizers. The spirit world opening
theme sets the mood for the entire disc: quiet and mysterious. And yet
within that range there is a great diversity of tempo, style, and theme.
The soft tracks are haunting, the driving tracks are downright
threatening, and even the brightest pieces serving but to counterpoint, to
emphasize the darker nature of the music. And while the arrangements run
the gamut from lush to lonely, the music never fails to have a full sound,
filling the room, be it a simple keyboard solo or the haunting tones of
traditional theatre. Even the brighter songs are laced with darkness, and
the prettiest ones forshadowing tragedy.
There is a surprise, however, in this collection. Track eighteen is the
end theme for the Vampire Princess Miyu series, perhaps the jazziest and
most upbeat piece on the disc. Track nineteen is a repeat of this theme.
But with the vocals included. Never heard in the video series, it is an
nice addition to the music. For those interested, the score and words for
this track are included in Anime V's OAV Hit Song Collection'89.
The presentation of this compact disc is well crafted. The jewel box
booklet includes perhaps two of the best stills of Miyu and Laba. And the
back cover is an original soft and mysterious portrait of the Princess and
As background music, the themes from Vampire Princess Miyu served to
accent the mysterious and shadowed nature of Hirano's tales. Quietly
disturbingly, they were a well integrated facet of the four films. Alone,
they stand surprisingly well, creating three quarters of an hour of dark,
depressing, threating and haunting music. Very pretty, but almost always
a touch sad. And very recommended for those who enjoyed Vampire Princess
CLEOPATRA D.C. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK COMPACT DISC (FUTURELAND RECORDS,
LD32-5097, 3,200 YEN)
Piano, bass, sax...Jazz! What better sounds than a slick Jazz combo to
illustrate Cleopatra's overly romantic view of a bustling and
cosmopolitan New York City that...like America's interest in Jazz...never
really was quite there. This album features soundtrack music from the
action-comedy spoof OAV series Cleopatra D.C. The music has a pleasing
Jazz combo sound that is so smooth that you could even use the action
tunes as the background music to a formal dinner party. The music is
pleasing, yet lively enough to be relaxing without putting you to sleep.
Aside from the neat Jazz BGM, the notable highlight of the album are the
vocals. First off, all the songs on the album are in English. The vocals
are in a somewhat Japanese (?) accent and sung by a woman named Diane
Silverthorn. With that accent, I wonder if that it her real name. Anyway,
her singing is pretty good, but it's the song lyrics that sound really
strange. The songs feature lyrics that pull rhymes from all the hardest
places..."Now I know what the word charisma means. Everybody wants to be a
part of her scene." They are almost like "Japanglish", yet they make
sense. And the shameful thing about them is that you will soon find
yourself singing along.
I really enjoyed this album. Although, I would only recommend it if you
appreciate good Jazz instrumentals, as I have heard other fans say that
they found the album dissapointing. The only thing I was dissapointed
with was the fact that not all of the BGM from the 2 OAV episodes this
album covers were not present. All the major themes are here, but there
are few minor ones that I enjoyed too. Although, they were more in a rock
& roll vein. So perhaps they were not included so as not to interfere
with the albums Jazz theme.
- Tom Mitchell
TOP O NARAE - GUNBUSTER SOUNDTRACK COMPACT DISC (VICTOR RECORDS,
VDR-1601, 3,000 YEN)
The soundtrack CD to the 6 part OAV series TOP O NARAE - GUNBUSTER has
got to be one of the more unusual anime soundtrack albums created to
date. The first thing you notice about the CD when you put in the player
is the running time. This CD is LONG! Over 77 minutes! I've never seen a
CD run so long. That's really pushing past the rated limit of running
time on the CD format. But improved mastering techniques today allow
folks to squeeze a little more running time out of the discs. And this
title certainly takes advantage of it.
Running time aside, it's what's on the disc that matters of course.
Subtitled "Victor Manga Golden Special", this is more than just
soundtrack album. With it's 99 tracks, this CD is more of an interactive
audio playground. Not only does this CD contain 22 tracks of BGM, and the
opening and closing themes songs from the Gunbuster OAV, but it also
contains an original image song, 2 original Gunbuster audio dramas, 2
character message spots for the show, and an interactive collection of 69
character dialog snippets that will allow you to create your own silly
Gunbuster dialogs. Hit random play on your CD player for a really wild
This is quite an album. Oh, and the music is good too. The soundtrack to
Gunbuster features some snappy pop tunes from the opening and closing
titles. Much longer cuts of them than were used in the OAVs. And the
background music for the OAV boasts a pompous "big adventure" synthesized
full orchestra sound that is quite stirring at times. Very well composed
and recorded. Perhaps the only dissapointing thing about the album is that
most of the major scores from the final episode are missing. We could have
done without much of the extras here to fit them in. I don't know whey
they would choose not to select those important closing themes for this
On top of all this, the album graphics also feature artwork that pay
homage to the sensational Japanese promotional art from 20 years ago, and
a silly picture CD in a clear case. All in all, this is not just a
soundtrack album...it's an adventure!
- Tom Mitchell
KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE - ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK CD (ANIMAGE RECORDS,
32ATC-184, 3,008 YEN)
Another great Joe Hisaishi album for another great Hayao Miyazaki film.
Probably the most notable thing about this album is that it boasts a very
lush, full orchestra sound. Hisaishi pretty much left his synthesizers and
drum machines home for the entire album, and instead concentraits almost
entirely on full the orchestra and highliting some individual acoustic
instruments. Since the Kiki's was a quiet and non-violent adventure film,
this affects the music too. The whole album is lush and mellow, pretty
much devoid of even one pulse pounding Hisaishi action theme that Hisaishi
likes to break things up with when the going gets easy.
So, this is probably one of Hisaishi's best "easy listening" soundtracks.
Sort of a nice change of pace to hear him working so well with a full
orchestra. As usual, his music and Miyazaki's vision suit each other
well. Oh, and check out track 18! Joe has hidden a lot of themes from his
past movie compositions in this tune...So far I've been able to pick out
movements from Arion, Nausicaa, and Laputa. Also, the two wonderful pop
tunes from the movie are also present as "bonus tracks" at the end of the
- Tom Mitchell
SOL BIANCA SOUNDTRACK - "Oogon No Uchuusen" ("Spaceship of Gold") *
NEC Avenue # N29C-43 * Y3,008 * Approx. 48 minutes
My first reaction upon listening to this CD was "wow, nice soundtrack!"
The CD starts out with a synthesized tune called "The Grandeur of View",
which is only just one song of many that do this CD justice. The second
song, "Born Again", is a lively rock instrumental. Upon hearing the third
song, "Ladyship", it threw me for a loop! It sounds like an
easy-listening tune and would confuse people as to why they put in on the
CD. It definitely sounds out of place, but until you see the movie, you
won't know what part this song plays (no pun intended! - grin). The first
vocal song on the CD is the fourth song titled "Everlasting Dream". My
only gripe about this song is the singer. Her voice sounds a little on
the rough side. Who knows, maybe after listening to her sing 20 - 30
times, I *might* get used to it. Now for the song I liked the most on the
CD... "Circle of Life" is the fifth song and it is a synthesized
instrumental. It's a relatively simple piece, but after I heard the first
10 seconds of the song, I knew I'd like it! The sixth song, titled
"Cloudy Eyes", is perhaps a "mild" rock song. I'd say it almost ranks up
there with "Circle of Life" as far as listening pleasure goes. The next
song is called "Roundtrip" and I'd say it's the best rock instrumental. It
has an up-beat tempo with guitar solo or two. The next vocal song on this
CD is "Reflection". It has a rock beat to it and it's very catchy tune!
"We Can Fly" is the last instrumental on the CD. This song is not like
the other instrumentals, since they used more accoustic instruments rather
than synthesizers. Even so, it is still a nice tune. The last song on
the CD is called "Makenai de". It's a mellow rock song and it seems to
have quite a bit of feeling put into it by the singer (that's more than I
can say about many other songs I've heard!). Well, all in all, I feel
that the Sol Bianca Soundtrack is a worthwhile CD and on a scale of 1 to
10, I'd rate it with a score of 9!
- Patrick Minyard
MEGAZONE 23 PART III ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK COMPACT DISC (VICTOR, VDR-1629,
High-tech, moody, slick, and atmospheric, the soundtrack to the 3rd and
latest installment of the Megazone 23 OAV series delivers with sound what
the video could not; a dramatic adventure in a cyberspace world.
My favorite soundtrack album of the past year, this CD is the best thing
to come out of the latest Megazone 23 project. The story of Megazone 23
Part III is set some 200 years after the first two videos. It is a
different world with a new cast of characters. And the music reflects
this. Gone are the tight rock and roll sounds of Tokyo 23 that reigned
over the first two now classic soundtrack albums. The sound now reflects
the new era of the recording engineer as artist...the "sound architect."
Sound architect Keishi Urata has taken the compositions of various
artists and orchestrated them into a carefully constructed sonic
environment. It is a dark and dreamy high-tech world that suggests the new
Megazone's story of a gleaming city and it's dark inner workings that are
explored by young computer hackers submerged in its computer generated
cyberspace interfaces and running wild on the city's too clean real-world
Listening to the music, you get a sense of what the dreamy visions of
mind to computer interfacing must be like. This is the music of an
electronic dream. You wake every once in a while to superb pop tunes by
Saki Takaoka, only to be plunged back into the digital dreamworld of the
cyberspace computer hacker.
This is a state of the art digital recording. Rather than the rock and
roll that was used to illustrate the motorcycle gangs of the first two
Megazone films, the music here uses dreamy but percussive, almost avant
guarde, digitally sampled synthesizer compositions to illustrate computer
dominated society. This is quite a change from the sounds of the first two
Megazone 23 videos, and I can see how some fans may not like it. Although
the pop songs on the new album are similar in style to those of the first
videos, but show off even slicker production values and a greater range of
instrumentation. Two hundred years later, and EVE still sounds great.
The CD itself is packaged in a very attractive clear cast that shows off
the disc's post-80's modern graphic design work. The CD booklet is a very
attractive presentation of stills from the videos, with production crew
credits in English, and Japanese lyrics to the songs. The CD sports a neat
color graphic with the Megazone 23 III logo and a color graphic by
Hiroyuki Kitazume, the character designer for this video. The middle of
the CD also contains an interesting 12 minute audio drama with the cast of
MZ23 III called "ANOTHER STORY OF MEGAZONE." (With motorcycle sounds
sampled from the Disney film TRON...)
A great album of modern electronic music, that is very daringly
different from the previous soundtracks. It tells the story of Megazone 23
better than the new videos themselves.
[I should also note that this was one of the few times I heard an anime
soundtrack before seeing the film. After seeing the Megazone 23 III OAVs,
I sould also note that this album is missing a 2 or three themes heard in
the OAV and the wonderful heavy metal song heard during Eji's party is
also missing. This is not unusual for a Megazone 23 soundtrack though; the
other MZ23 OAVs also had music in them that did not make it onto the
soundtrack albums. They would show up later on a rare EP called MEGAZONE
23 MANIAC LIBRARY COLLECTION.]
- Tom Mitchell
////////////////////////////BOOKS AND MAGAZINES\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
VOTOMS VIEWERS' GUIDE (PUBLISHED BY TIM ELDRED, 2395 ARROWHEAD TRAIL,
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN 48105, $14, 143 PAGES)
Being the artist of Eternity Comic's anime influenced LENSMAN and BROID,
it should be obvious that Tim Eldred is a rabid anime fan. But what may
not be plain to the fans of his work is just how far over the edge he has
gone for his "favorite anime of all time" (his words) the Nippon Sunrise
TV and OAV series ARMORED TROOPER VOTOMS.
Tim has created the most extensive anime fan based publishing project
that I have ever seen undertaken by and individual. He has
desktop-published himself what amounts to a book; a 143 page document
called the VOTOMS VIEWERS' GUIDE. It is a typeset and illustrated guide to
the complete VOTOMS TV series and the VOTOMS: BIG BATTLE OAV. (Tim is also
planning to keep this work updated.)
If you are a fan of the show, or want to learn more about it, this book
will become your bible. The episode synopsis' are well written and
compleat to the finest plot detail, and featuring the insights of a true
fan. Tim's artistic skill is visible in the guide's tastefully uncluttered
layout and intelligent choice of illustrative graphics. (It can also serve
as one of the rare examples of well-done, uncluttered fan based desktop
If you are a fan of the show, this is probably the ONLY English language
source of information about the TV series. It's a must have book. It'll
make a wonderful companion piece to the just-released collection of the
entire series on laserdisc. Reading this book is going to make me a fan of
the show! Great work, Tim!
- Tom Mitchell
B-CLUB SPECIAL BOOK: KENICHI SONODA - VISION (BANDAI, ISBN4-89189-481-4
C0076 P2000E, 2,000 YEN, 8 1/4" X 11 1/2")
This wonderful B-CLUB SPECIAL book is a volume that any Kenichi Sonoda
or Bubblegum Crisis collector shouldn't be without. KENICHI SONODA -
VISION is a deluxe collection of promotional art by ARTMIC/AIC artist
Kenichi Sonoda. The book focuses mainly on Kenichi's slick promotional
art for the OAV series Bubblegum Crisis. It collects his art done for
posters, audio and video software covers, Bubblegum Crisis novels, and
special promotional art and rejected ideas. VISION also presents early
design concepts for the Knight Sabers' hard suits...some interesting
rejected ideas here! The book covers BGC art right up to Bubblegum Crisis
7, so it is very current.
Although the book is mainly devoted to BGC, there are also special art
sections on the one-shot OAV Riding Bean, and a few examples of original
art ideas that have not been developed. (Who knows, one day we may see an
OAV called GUN SMITH CATS!) There is also a nice text section discussing
Sonoda and his art and the short history of his 28 year old life. Sorry,
no Gallforce discussed here, though.
The creative design force behind hit ARTMIC/AIC shows like Gallforce and
Bubblegum Crisis, Kenichi Sonoda has a very distinctive style that has
virtually dominated almost all of the studio's works. He combines a clean,
highly detailed eye for design with a slick, streamlined view of female
anatomy and meticulous technical detail. I can think of no other anime
artist that quite resembles his style. And a book like this really shows
off his work to its best advantage.
The book itself is a large, glossy, full color publication throughout
most all of its 112 pages. All of the illustrations are noted with easy to
read (if you read Japanese) notations on what the illustrations were from
and how they were originally used. Bandai has done a superb job with this
book! I highly recommend it, although of course it does not tell the
entire story of Sonoda's career. If you are a BGC fan, this book should
satisfy you. If you are a Sonoda fan, you will find that this book
combined with B-CLUB's ARTMIC DESIGN WORKS BOOK would make a perfect set
as the Design Works book presents an overall view of some of Sonoda's
- Tom Mitchell
B-CLUB SPECIAL - MEGAZONE 23 PERFECT DATA BOOK
As the title states, this book is a great reference of all the Megazone
23 OAVs. The following paragraphs will attempt to describe the contents
of the Megazone Perfect Data Book.
The first sections, titled "Film Memory/Film Story", describe the plot
and storyline of the first two Megazone 23 OAVs complete with film clips
from the major scenes.
The next part, "Megazone 23 I:120% Megafile", has the character designs
for Eve, Shogo, Yui and other characters. Also in this section are the
mechanical designs for the Garland, Hargun and other mecha that appear in
Next, there is an interesting article, complete with design sheets, on
"Vanity City". "Vanity City" appears to be a predessor to Megazone 23.
The character designs did not change much between Vanity City and the
Megazone OAVs. The mecha, on the other hand, are much more varied. In
the Megazone OAV, there were basically two major designs, the Garland and
the Hargun. In the Vanity City sketches, there are designs for
power-suits, a tank, various flying vehicles. And if I'm not mistaken,
some of these designs resemble mecha from the Macross, and Genesis Climber
The various real locations of Tokyo animated in Megazone parts 1&2 are
presented in the "Real City 23" section.
Next comes the character and mecha designs for the second Megazone OAV.
Included in this section are some pre-production color sketches. Also
present are some Megazone illustrations done by artists such as H.
Mikimoto, T. Hirano and S. Aramaki.
The origins of the Megazone ships are detailed in the "Megazone:
Illustrated Story" chapter. Although the meat of the story in Japanese,
the illustrations are help a little. It's interesting to note that
Megazone 1 is supposed to be New York City(The Big Apple) in the 1950's.
For modeling fans, photographs of the Original, E=X, and Proto Garland
mechas in soft vinyl are provided. In the closing chapters, the character
and mecha designs for the third Megazone OAV are presented. Along with
interviews with the voice actors and actresses of Megazone 23 part 3. If
you a Megazone 23 fan, this book will make a great reference and should
provide some insight on how the Megazone OAV series came about.
- Albert Wong
B-CLUB SPECIAL MOOKS: AKEMI TAKADA ARTBOOK 1 - COMPLETE VISUAL WORKS
(ISBN4-89189-375-3 C0076 P1854E, 1,854 YEN) AKEMI TAKADA ARTBOOK 2 -
CRYSTELLA (ISBN4-89189-331-1 C0076 P1854E, 1,854 YEN)
Like many new fans, I discovered Akemi Takada's lush pastel artwork
through her work on the recent hit shows KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD and PATLABOR
- THE MOBILE POLICE. One of the most popular female anime artists and
character designers in anime today, her style is unique and very easy to
spot once your are familiar with her art. I began to notice her work in
other past projects, and wanted to learn more about here and some other
other things she had worked on. In comes B-CLUB to the rescue with the
publication of two new art "mooks" (Magazine-like books) that provide both
a biographical look at Akemi, and a lush presentation of her pre-Orange
The large glossy paper back books present her wonderful pastel paintings
and characters designs in full color. Each book ends with interviews, and
monochrome art, and comics that Akemi uses to poke fun at her daily life
and friends. Keep in mind that there are just a couple rare pre-production
Orange Road sketches in book two, and no Patlabor art in either book.
These books are purely a look back at her previous work.
The books present original and promotional art by Akemi for some of the
earler shows she worked on, with a focus on art from CREAMY MAMI, TWILIGHT
Q, and ending with 1987's URBAN SQUARE. The books also touch on some of
Akemi's original art, and art done for novels, plus provide detailed looks
into how Akemi work's and some of the art techniques she uses.
Unless you are into the art itself, Orange Road and Patlabor fans might
not find these books very interesting. But, I recommend these books highly
to any die-hard Akemi Takada fan, or art student who would like to see
some vivid, careful, and unique human figure pastel art. You are in for
quite a visual trip.
- Tom Mitchell
ARTMIC MOVIE BOOK - RHEA GALL FORCE
All you ever needed to know about the Rhea Gallforce video series, this
73 page book has it all. The book is divided up into eight major
The first section, 'Digest Film' is the ony color segment in the book.
It is a pictorial of the first Rhea Gallforce OAV. The next section
called 'Design Board: Preparatory' contains pre-production sketches.
Included are preliminary sketches of Sandy, Nortone the cyborg and the
MME(Man Made Existence). The third section contains sketches and
illustrations of the major and minor character in the Rhea Gallforce OAV.
Next comes the designs for the mechanics. Here, you'll find sketches of
the West's sleek six-wheeled tank, the East's hovercrafts, various
weapons. Also included is a plan view of the space shuttle used during
the end of the OAV. The fifth section contains sketches of the MME
troopers and ships. The 'Design Book:Art' section has sketches of the
many backgrounds used in the OAV. The seventh section, 'Design Book:Plan'
appears to have a brief history of the MME. The last section lists the
staff and cast of Rhea Gallforce. Overall a good reference book for the
Rhea Gallforce OAV.
- Albert Wong
YOSHITAKA AMANO MATEN ISBN4-257-03185-9 C0071
YOSHITAKA AMANO HITEN ISBN4-257-03229-4 C0071
YOSHITAKA AMANO GENMUKY ISBN4-403-01029-6 C0071
There are very few people who would not agree that Vampire Hunter D is
an excellent film. Especially considering the artistry of the characters:
Doris, the monsters, and especially Lamika and the mysterious D. What is
less well known is that these designs are a mere shade of the excellence
of Yoshitaka Amano's work. Here is an artist whose ablility to capture
hauntingly dark sensual images is perhaps unequaled.
A large portion of Amano's work has been published in these three books.
The first two, Maten and Hiten, are softbound companion volumes, each
filled cover to cover, with works of acrylic, watercolours, and pen and
ink. The third book, Genmuky, is a small hardcover, yet equally well
packed with Amano's art. In general, all three books follow the same
manner of organization. The first section of each book is a large series
of colour plates, which is then followed up with a selection of Amano's
striking black on white drawings. And last, a text section, in japanese,
commenting on the art presented. Together, the three books contain almost
two hundred examples of Yoshitaka Amano's skill of portraying persons of
mystery and darkness.
And of the artistry which fills these books...
The majority of Amano's work is portraiture and of the human form. And
yet beyond simple technical expertise, he is able to capture a moment, a
mood, an atmosphere. Always eerie and mysterious, it is most often a
darkly sensual image he creates. And Amano's work often steps beyond the
sensual, into sleek eroticsm. His ladies are fine and mysterious, some
slender, almost androgynous. Yet undeniably female. Others possess a
more traditionally form filling figure. His men are strong, dark and
vibrant. Amano's faeries harken back to older tales, when they were fell
creatures of rare beauty. And throughout each book, there is a series of
portraits of the vampire hunter "D". Elegantly haunting, "D" can now be
seen illustrated far more richly than when animated.
Amano's style is unique. It is lush and rich, with exquisite linework
and filled with pattern and texture. His handling of colour is dense;
subtle tones and shading creating a full and lavish image. And yet,
elsewhere, this quiet use is matched with vibrant, often highlighting a
softer portrait, or used to shock and draw attention. Sensual elegance is
perhaps the best way to describe his work. At its heart, his style often
seems to draw from an older, almost art deco foundation. Amano's work is
in many cases remeniscent of Gustav Klimt and the Succesion period
artists, especially his use of pattern and background and theme. Then, of
course, there is the black world of Amano. For he handles the lack of
colour with equal skill. His black and white drawings are strong,
striking, and sharp. And once again, he works in opposite extremes, from
fine linework providing texture and fullness, to bold high contrast
Save for Vampire Hunter D, and a few other related drawings, perhaps
there is only a tenuous relationship between the majority of Amano's work
and anime. So be it. Amano's work is definitely worth experiencing, no
matter what the excuse. These three books will be an excellent addition
to most any library, and I highly recommend both them and Yoshitaka
For those who follow Yoshitaka Amano, there is also a fourth volume of
his work available. "Imagine" (ISBN4-403-01031-8 C0071) is a softbound
collection of colour plates, black and white drawings, and pencil
sketches. This collection has a good sampling of his early work,
including strip art and anime work.
Posters and prints can be aquired through Norman Hood of Chimera
Publishing. He has managed to aquire a limited selection of Amano posters,
and has also canabalized a fair number of limited edition calander prints,
which have been matted and mounted.
- Mike Naylor
APPLESEED DATA BOOK BY SHIROW MASAMUNE (PUBLISHED BY COMIC BORNE, 880
YEN , ISBN4-915333-69-8 C0079 P880E)
This book is a new guide to the world Shirow Masamune has created for
his SF adventure manga APPLESEED. It's a bible of information for the
APPLESEED fan , covering all major aspects of the manga story. As the
cover of the book lists, the Data Book comes with political maps of Earth,
an Appleseed Encyclopedia, data on individual countries and governments, a
historical chronology, character profiles, mecha specs, and last but not
least, an original Appleseed short story "CALLED GAME." There are also
some interviews and essays with Shirow explaining some of his ideas in
some of the sections.
Appleseed book 5 is due out sometime next year. Its release is being
held up by Shirow who in the meantime is starting a new manga story called
ORION. So this book should hold the appetites of Appleseed fans who have
been waiting for the new volume. It'll give you a deeper look into the
Appleseed world, and perhaps provide readers with information and details
that might have been overlooked. Other than the short manga story and the
neat cover, most of the art in the book is reprinted from past volumes of
the manga. Although, there are a few new Shirow drawings and cartoons
scattered throughout the book.
The APPLESEED DATA BOOK is a must-have publication for all APPLESEED
readers and Shirow collectors. I hope that we see an English translation
of this book one day for American readers of the translated comic. Even if
you don't read Japanese, if you're an Appleseed fan, you'll really
appreciate this book.
- Tom Mitchell
//////////////////////////////MAIL ORDER INFO\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
The following is a list of businesses where the ANIME STUFF staff members
shop for our anime stuff. They are highly recommended sources for anime
and provide excellent service. All of them provide mail order so you
can write to them for catalogs.
SIGHT & SOUND NIKAKU ANIMART LASER PERCEPTIONS
1275 MAIN STREET 615 North 6th. St. 3300 JUDAH STREET
WALTHAM, MA 02154 SAN JOSE, CA 95112 SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94122
PHONE: 1-617-894-8633 PHONE: 1-408-971-2822 PHONE: 1-415-753-2016
P.O. BOX 1235
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA 91729-1235
PHONE : 1-714-941-9750
WOK TALK/SIGHT & SOUND and LASER PERCEPTIONS specialize in domestic and
imported laser video discs. Nikaku & Animagic sell magazines, books,
compact discs, laser discs and other anime goods. Tell 'em ANIME STUFF
IOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOI BBS SYSTEM INFO IOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIOIO
Here is a list of some of the more notable BBS's around the country that
are dedicated mainly to anime chatter.
> VALLEY OF THE WIND BBS, the official ANIMAG BBS
Phone 1-415-341-5986 (CALIFORNIA, 300/1200/2400 BAUD)
> ANIME LANE BBS
Phone 1-818-762-3694 (CALIFORNIA, 300/1200 BAUD, Starlinkable through
Van Nuys Node)
> Cowtipper's BBS
Phone 1-818-893-7259 (CALIFORNIA, 300/1200 BAUD)
I hope everyone has a good holiday season. We have a lot of new things to
talk about in the next issue. (A lot of stuff that didn't fit in this
issue too. We didn't want to make this issue TOO big.) Also be sure and
check out the new Sony Super Price editions of VAMPIRE HUNTER D and GALL
FORCE. These new editions of the videos are being sold at half price
(disc & tape) and nothing has been cut out. I'll be comparing the new
editions with the old ones in the next issue.
- Tom Mitchell
Date of original publication: 11/18/1990
ANIME STUFF Copyright (C) 1990 Tom Mitchell & MIDORI COMMUNICATIONS
All rights reserved.
This publication originally appears on CompuServe Information Service's
Comic Book & Animation Forum.
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INTERNET Address : >INTERNET:firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Copyrights to the material reviewed, articles written and
graphics presented are reserved by their respective owners. The contents
of Anime Stuff may be reproduced in any form of media so long as the names
of the authors are preserved, articles remain intact, and ANIME STUFF is
mentioned as the source. The contents of this publication may not be
reproduced in publications for sale without the permission of the
copyright holders listed above.
Articles & computer artwork in Anime Stuff may be re-published in
newsletters so long as a copy of the publication in which the articles
appear are sent to:
c/o Tom Mitchell
474 Chowning Circle
Dayton, Ohio 45429
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are COPYRIGHTED (C) 1987 CompuServe Information Service
an H&R BLOCK company.