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Novice Anime Discussion Part I


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#21 of 749 OFFLINE   Brendan Brown

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Posted February 22 2003 - 09:51 AM

...And Here's the rest.

Science Fiction

Crest of the Stars (Novice)
Adapted from a series of Japanese novels, Crest of the Stars tells of Jinto, the young son of a planetary governor. When the planet is annexed by the Genetically-Enhanced Ahb race, he is made into Ahb nobility and sent to an appropriate off-world education. Years later he meets his first Ahb a girl named Lafiel who is to lead him to his escort ship. Shortly after boarding, the United Mankind (a rival to the Ahb race) starts a war of aggression, with Jinto and Lafiel caught in the results. A very dialogue driven show, but filled with intrigue and adventure.
Pioneer has released this series in 4 volumes, and is currently releasing it's follow-up series 'Banner of the Stars'



Other

FLCL (Comedy, Action, Mecha, Science Fiction) (Advanced)
Living in the small Japanese town of Mabase, our grade-school hero, Naota, spends most of his time dealing with his overenthusiastic father (who works as a baker) and fending off the inappropriate advances of Mamimi, the girlfriend of his older brother (who's away in America playing baseball)
Until one day, after he is hit on the head with a guitar by a strange Scooter-riding woman named Haruko, horns start appearing where he was injured. Could they have anything to do with the new medical factory in town, which just happens to resemble a large steam iron?

Enter the bizarre world of FLCL (pronounced Fooly Cooly) the first anime created and directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, who was Hikeaki Anno's right hand man on the revolutionary and controversial "Neon Genesis Evangelion" FLCL has been hailed internationally by those in the animation industry as one of the most important and brilliant pieces of animated art ever made, a near nonsensical narrative protects a core science-fiction story in a manner that would definitely appeal to those who love their animé to push boundaries.
Synch-Point is releasing it in three volumes, with an exclusive director's commentary, a great insert booklet and packaging, and video quality which is simply jaw-dropping.


Fantasy

El Hazard OVA (ONLY the first OVA, every other El Hazard series stinks on ice) (Novice)
Makoto Mizuhara and his friend, rival, and alcoholic High School teacher are transported to the magical world of El Hazard. However, the kingdom is in chaos, and for some reason Makoto looks very similar to the kidnapped PrinCESS Fatora...these 45 minute 7 episode OVA's are the original and pinnacle of the El Hazard Universe...a TV show and follow-up OVA are terrible...avoid them.
Pioneer has released it in a beautifully packaged set over three discs...the third disc is the aformentioned terrible OVA followup.



Movie Recommendations

Metropolis
-from the IMDB-
"Metropolis is a story of how important emotions are and how they separate humans from everything else. The movie follows a young boy, his uncle (a private investigator) The story is set in the far future where humans and robots live together, unfortunately not in harmony. Many robots are forced underground and are terminated for entering unauthorized areas, they are moreless servants to humankind. The plot starts to unfold as the boy meets a robot named Tima and they get in all kinds of trouble as the movie progresses. Never a dull moment when you've got a robot by your side."

Based on a comic by the Godfather of Japanese manga Osamu Tezuka (Astroboy) the retro character designs are juxtaposed on the modern CGI enhanced cityscape. It also supports a wonderful musical score. I was lucky to catch this in theatres.
This DVD is released through Columbia/Tristar Home Video and is one of the best sounding DVDs in my collection (and that's saying something)


End of Evangelion (Advanced)
When Evangelion ended its television run with its controversial final two episodes, there was an cry of outrage, some people even wrote death threats to Gainax and Hideaki Anno. A movie was announced that would replace the final two episodes on the Eva timeline...what resulted was a monkey's paw wish for fans. A few fanboy's dreams came true...but with the worst possible outcome. With a second act filled with hallucinatory, visceral, and mysterious imagery (including flashing some of the aforementioned death threats on the screen subliminally) End of Evangelion won a Japanese Academy award for "biggest public sensation" and Patrick Macias, author of 'Tokyoscope' argues End of Eva was artistically the most important anime film of the 90's
Manga put out a release of this film brimming with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 tracks, there are issues with the way it's presented among some fans.


Ninja Scroll (Not for children)
The first animé I ever watched, it's shocking and graphical nature is matched only by its sense of style, direction, and mythology. Jubei is a wandering samurai, who get's mixed up in a plan hatched by the 'eight devils of kimon' to take over Japan from the newly established Tokugawa government.
This is one of Manga's first DVD's and is not too bad for it's age, presented in 4:3, which may or may not be the film's OAR


Patlabor 2
One of the rare cases of a sequel far outstripping it's theatrical and television successor. Patlabor 2 is an audacious and slightly creepy military thriller. In the near future, giant robots (called Labors) exist, but for realistic heavy construction purposes, of course with new technology comes new crimes, and there exists a Mobile Labor police force. Goto is the chief of a Labor police division, that get's embroiled in a complex tale of politics and revenge. Has a great score by Kenji Kawai.
Manga has released a serviceable non-anamorphic widescreen disc


Wings of Honneamise
Studio Gainax started out as a few college students, an 8-millimeter camera, and a moderate drawing ability. After doing a few short films for Sci-Fi conventions, they wrote a script for a sci-fi epic called "Wings of Honneamise" and sent it to Bandai. Bandai, in a moment of 80's Japan bubble economy, gave them an unprecedented 8 million dollars to produce it. Wings of Honneamise is a very sedately paced story of a world similar to our own, and a nation's first steps into space, through the eyes of unlikely astronaut and chronic underachiever Shiro Ladatt. It's conspicuous lack of space battles or heavy action, lead to a failure in the box office, but has been recognized as a great film, and a turning point in the artistry of Animé.
Unfortunately the domestic release by Manga has the most despicable image quality imaginable.


Spirited Away
Almost forgot about this flat out wonderful animated film by the international master of animation Hayao Miyazaki. I was lucky enough to catch this in the theatre and it was one of the most magical cinematic experiances of my life. the dub's pretty good too, featuring Daveigh Chase ('The Ring,' 'Donnie Darko,' 'Lilo & Stitch') as Chihiro/Sen.
The upcoming DVD promises to be excellent


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#22 of 749 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted February 22 2003 - 10:31 AM

I like the way this thread is going. Thanks Rob and everybody else. See if there's a good Horror recommendation list as well.

#23 of 749 OFFLINE   Tony-B

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Posted February 22 2003 - 11:13 AM

Brendan, I agree 110% with Crest. It is an amazing series. This was the series that got me into anime, and still remains my favorite.
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#24 of 749 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted February 22 2003 - 02:19 PM

Glad too 'see' this thread. Hope some 'hardcores' come in to help us newbie's out, I am not 'into' Anime, however I do appreciate the art. I do not have enough funds to take care of my Beatles DVD obsession in 2003, let alone every thing else. So, here goes; What is the title, with an anamorphic transfer, a English & original language 5.1 [or better] soundtrack with: 1. The best Sex. 2. The best Violence. 3. The best story. 4. The best Artwork. Not trying to make light of anything, just blow me away, with a KILLER title! Thanks.
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#25 of 749 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted February 22 2003 - 02:49 PM

Thanks for starting this thread. I've seen the couple of Batman Beyond DVDs, and that inspired me to get a little more into the animated realm.

What I am looking for is anime that doesn't involve giant robots, nor people drawn with giant cupie eyes, nor ones with storylines that think it's great to have your personality absorbed into a giant computer.

So far I've seen and LOVED Armitage III (which is not "part III" it is the first), and thought Ghost in a Shell was ok visually, very Matrix like, but I did not like the story much. But Armitage was the best film I've seen in awhile, very much like a sequel to Blade Runner (I watched the OAR, no wait, the OVA...the OVO?...I forget the acronym, but I mean the original episodes, not the edited film version).

Any more like Armitage out there that are as compelling?

I've also been considering getting A Wind Called Amnesia, and Kite: The Directors Cut since they say it is a copy of Luc Besson's Leon: The Professional, which is one of my favorite films.
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#26 of 749 OFFLINE   Brendan Brown

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Posted February 22 2003 - 03:00 PM

Will_B:


I'd suggest Spirited Away 'cause the eyes aren't too big :P) and Ninja Scroll

Big Eyes and Giant Robots will come later Posted Image
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#27 of 749 OFFLINE   Brendan Brown

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Posted February 22 2003 - 03:21 PM

Ed St. Clair

this will be tough, as many anime (cause most are tv and direct to video releases in japan) don't get distributed over here with anamorphic picture or 5.1, so the best examples of each type are not the ones I'll mention first but I'll try to fill the list per requirements.

1. The best Sex.
Lord knows, nothing I can think of offhand that's anamorphic or 5.1
(the best title of this type NOT filling your requirements that isn't a 'Hentai' (animated pornography) title is Ninja Scroll of course that depends on your view of sex, 'cause most if isn't consensual exactly. Best 'Hentai' title...I dunno, La Blue Girl ? )

2. The best Violence.
I think that would be Spriggan

3. The best story.
Hmm, maybe Metropolis (also a very nice looking and sounding film (in DTS no less))

4. The best Artwork.
Probably Blood: The Last Vampire it has gorgeous anamorphic all-digital 2D animation. but it's a little on the short side.

Let us know what you think.
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#28 of 749 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted February 22 2003 - 03:55 PM

Will_B: It's kind of hard to recommend anything really good (that I've seen) that fits all of your requirements. Neon Genesis Evangelion is very good, but it has giant robots (sort of, I suggest renting the first DVD or something and watching it to see if you like it). Cowboy Bebop has all the things you'd like, but some characters have the huge eyes. BTW, there are some nuances of anime that have to deal with character designs. Children, teens, and adult females usually have the same basic design (mainly the big eyes). Adults males and some teen males have their own unique facial design (including smaller eyes). Old people are usually drawn as small and extremely wrinkly.

#29 of 749 OFFLINE   JohnAD

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Posted February 22 2003 - 04:18 PM

[quote] What is the title, with an anamorphic transfer, a English & original language 5.1 [or better] soundtrack with:
1. The best Sex.
2. The best Violence.
3. The best story.
4. The best Artwork.
[quote]
I don't think you'll be able to find this combination anywhere in one show. Very few titles have an English or Japanese 5.1 track, much less both. Unless you're into hentai, actual sex isn't very common in mainstream anime. If you're looking for fan service, however, lots of series have that.

As for your other three requirements, here's the list:

Akira: The collector's edition has an English 5.1 track. There is also a separate DTS version with a Japanese DTS track. A classic, something every anime fan should see.

Escaflowne the Movie: Two versions, a three-disk box set, and a movie-only edition. Both have Japanese DTS 5.1, and Japanese and English Dolby 5.1 tracks. Good story; you don't need to have seen the series to enjoy this one.

Jin-Roh: Again, two versions, collector's and movie-only. Both have Japanese DTS 5.1 and Japanese and English 5.1 tracks. A personal favorite, but some people have trouble with the story line.

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Most Recent Purchases: The Call of Cthulhu, Count Dracula, The Gravedancers, The Legend of Hell House, Prom Night, Starship Troopers, 28 Weeks Later, Unrest

Currently Collecting: Inu Yasha, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam

Total DVDs: 1436 Anime DVDs: 776 R2 DVDs: 41 R3 DVDs: 6

#30 of 749 OFFLINE   Tony-B

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Posted February 22 2003 - 04:31 PM

ED and Will, try out Akira. It is considered to one of, if not the best, the best anime movie ever made. Will, you can get Akira in 5.1 Japanese DTS. You will get used to the big eyes. Honestly, it is unavoidable. That is the way anime is drawn. It is a staple. I will be preparing a FAQ in the near future that explains why anime is the way it is. I already have some of it written, but I need to type it into the computer. I'll try and get that done ASAP.
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#31 of 749 OFFLINE   Morgan Jolley

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Posted February 22 2003 - 04:46 PM

I actually recommend against Akira unless you want to get to the heart of anime or are already really into it. I have some friends who like anime already who didn't like Akira much. To be honest, it's OK, but for what it was when it came out, it was a big deal. I can see and respect that, so it does make it seem a little better. Overall, it's not something I'd see myself watching all the time, but there are several moments where you just lose yourself in the movie, which is the point of good storytelling.

#32 of 749 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted February 22 2003 - 06:11 PM

brendan - very nice summaries. i think that type of descriptive explanation will definitely help people decide if it's something they'll want to watch. tony - are you going to provide a "master list" at the top of this thread too? or just compile something on your server and link to it? just curious...
 

#33 of 749 OFFLINE   Tony-B

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Posted February 22 2003 - 06:20 PM

I think that I will keep it located in-thread. I can host it over at my server if you want to.
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#34 of 749 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted February 22 2003 - 07:32 PM

It isn't out on DVD yet but I cannot believe that "Giant Robo" wasn't included under the mecha/robot genre. The robots look goofy as hell, but the story is actually decent and there was a pretty unique soundtrack as well. I used to rent a lot of stuff on VHS, but ever since anime companies switched to DVD I have been unable to watch much of the new stuff. I just cannot justify $50 Canadian/per disc for sight unseen material. Hell, even if I wanted to spend that kind of money buying stuff I haven't seen, I couldn't afford it. The cost of anime is why I am pretty much relegated to buying only movies such as "Metropolis" and "Akira".
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#35 of 749 OFFLINE   Brendan Brown

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Posted February 22 2003 - 07:35 PM

Edwin-S:

It's times like this that make me glad I live 5 blocks from a video store which (apparently) has the largest anime rental section in western Canada. Posted Image

If it's a big issue, check to see if there's an anime club in your area (the kind that are run by college or university students)
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#36 of 749 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted February 22 2003 - 07:50 PM

If it's a big issue, check to see if there's an anime club in your area (the kind that are run by college or university students) ------------------------------------------------------------ I do know that the local university has an anime club, however, so far the stuff they have been showing is all stuff I have seen. I think they are having the same problem I am, not enough rental material. The local video store does have some material for rent such as "Gasaraki" and "Soultaker". I rented "Soultaker". God, that was a mistake. It stunk.
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#37 of 749 OFFLINE   Brendan Brown

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Posted February 22 2003 - 10:07 PM

Edwin-S
Hmm, wonder if Netflix does Canada...

If you're looking for a cheap place to buy anime online in Canada, check out www.cnl.com they're pretty good, and they're based in BC. Anime is in the $20-$40 CAN range depending. It's where I get all my stuff.
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#38 of 749 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted February 22 2003 - 10:23 PM

I once ordered some stuff from a DVD supplier in Ontario. I also ordered from CNL. It was funny, the discs that came from Ontario came in good condition, no floaters. The CNL order came in the disc was floating around inside the packaging. It was pure luck that it wasn't damaged. One of these days I may have to try another order.
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#39 of 749 OFFLINE   Tony-B

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Posted February 23 2003 - 10:20 AM

I just updated the recommendation list. I added recommendations from Brendan Brown and JohnAD. Keep those suggestions coming! By the way, would any of you be interested in an anime FAQ? I would be willing to do that, just as long as someone helps me out with it.
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#40 of 749 OFFLINE   Brendan Brown

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Posted February 23 2003 - 10:37 AM

What sort of help do you need?
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