Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Archive for October 2009

Kusakabe Misuzu of 11eyes

Too little of her, too much of everyone else.

Anime based on 18+ PC games, like this season’s 11eyes,  generally fall into two categories: the true visual novels where the sex scenes often felt tacked-on and suffer nothing from the all-ages conversion because they get to focus on the story, and the meaningless fluff games that end up being slapped with the “slice of life” label (read: plotless and pointless) and are blatant money-grabs.

11eyes falls into the first category, but it doesn’t settle into the anime format very well. It has promise as a story, but it develops too slowly to grab you and pull you in – it’s paced like a novel, which has many problems in a 25-minute format.

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One Piece Silliness!

The whole series is like this, but without puppets.

Now is the perfect time to start following One Piece, and I’ll tell you why.

One Piece is one of the most popular manga in history, with over 170 million copies sold over the past 12 years of its existence. It embodies the Shonen Jump spirit and takes it to the next level, combining epic action with silly comedy and a sweeping storyline that draws you in with its many well-developed characters. The main problem is that One Piece is so freaking long,  it’s hard to jump into the series without being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it.

This year, though, VIZ Media and FUNimation are making it easy to be a One Piece fan, whether you’re a grizzled veteran or an interested newcomer.

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Yoshinaga Yuunosuke’s Broken Blade (“Break Blade” in Japanese) is scheduled for an anime movie adaptation in 2010, and today (Technically tomorrow – the article is dated 10/30) Dengeki Online showed off some of the character and mecha designs for the robot fantasy series.

CMX Manga is currently releasing the Broken Blade manga in English. The story combines sweeping epic fantasy with classic Japanese mecha action, and revolves around Rygart Arrow, the “Un-sorcerer” who is unable to use magic in a world full of it. However, his lack of magic makes him the perfect fit for an ancient Golem war machine he discovers, and he is forced to insert himself into a war between two of his oldest friends…

Naruto Shippuden title logo

Disney’s attempt to bring in the young male demographic begins in earnest tonight, as the first four episodes of Naruto Shippuden air on the Disney XD channel from 8:30 to 10:30 (check your local listings).

What I’m interested in is how they’ll air the show going forward. They can’t possibly air four episodes a week; the dubbing process just isn’t fast enough. In terms of official releases, Viz has only released up through episode 8 so far, so a regular weekly slot seems likely. But that wouldn’t give Naruto Shippuden very much initial exposure on the station, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the scheduling.

Darker than Black promotional image

I missed the boat on Darker than Black back in 2007. I wasn’t watching much anime back then, but I recently started watching it on FUNimation’s video channel (it’s also available on YouTube, for those international readers who can’t see the FUNi site) and got hooked hard enough by the setting and the style of the superhuman superspy thriller to watch it from start to finish.

The sequel, Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini, retains most of the staff and cast who made the first anime so interesting, but just one change on the staff makes it very different from its predecessor – and sadly, the change is for the worse.

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Nanami Madobe

She's inside my computer, acting cute and performing simple tasks!

Like many other people, I’ve updated my work and home computers to Windows 7 in the last week. It’s been great to me so far, with performance improvements aplenty and more importantly, a very cute mascot. More on Madobe Nanami and the voice behind her after the jump.

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The design is temporary and the content area is blanker than freshly fallen snow, but AnimeReel is open! now has an anime affiliate, and by an anime affiliate I really mean “A place for Dom to blog about anime, manga, Japanese music, and whatever else he thinks of that doesn’t quite fit on SideReel.”

I should kick off this new blog by introducing myself and my background in Japanese otaku culture. My name is Dominic Nguyen, and I am a proud alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley and its storied Cal Animage Alpha. I became an anime fan back when Devil Hunter Yohko and Bubblegum Crisis were new, and was hooked hard enough to teach myself the Japanese phonetic alphabets through a game called Sakura Taisen. Some time in the last two decades I made a conscious, if misguided, choice to try and turn my encyclopedic knowledge of anime and trivia into a career.

On the professional side, I’ve written for NewType USA magazine, Anime Insider, Wired Magazine, and GamePro, as well as a few other scattered projects. On the fan side, I’ve… well, I’ve done some things I haven’t been very proud of, mostly involving the consumption of overly cutesy Japanese music. And, um, maybe going to a few concerts featuring said cutesy Japanese music.

I’ll be doing a lot of posting on this site over the next few weeks, so look forward to all of the previews, reviews, and news that will be coming!