Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Archive for May 2010

They look so innocent, don't they?

This could really well or really badly.

Konno Azure, the author of risque manga Koe de Oshigoto! (“Voice Work,” roughly), announced on his blog today that his strangely popular story is getting an anime adaptation. The official announcement comes in today’s Comic Gum manga anthology, and full details about the in-progress anime are promised for next month. For now, all we know is that it’s coming this fall season.

So… if you didn’t know what Koe de Oshigoto! is, let me explain why this is either going to be surprisingly good, or epically bad. The manga is about Aoyagi Kanna, an innocent young girl who’s conscripted by her older sister Yayoi to be a voice actress in an adult game. Yayoi runs an adult game company, and since most of the voice actors who work in the adult industry live in Tokyo, she needs Kanna to do the dirty work. The manga covers Kanna learning the ins and outs of the industry – learning how to moan properly, learning just how dirty her sister’s business is, and so on.

“Colorful” is the best word to describe it, with all of the euphemism available in that word. From scenes about teaching poor Kanna to talk with her mouth full to her co-star, who believes that his catch phrase “My dick’s hard!” is a compliment of the highest order, the manga’s just full of wrongness and occasional hilarity. It turning into a manga really only has two options, and forgettability is not one of them.

With all this information, it shouldn’t surprise you when I tell you that Koe de Oshigoto! is Konno Azure’s first manga that isn’t 18+ in nature – it rides the edge pretty hard with its dialogue and subject matter, though. It’ll be fascinating to see how they handle this one, but color me skeptical that this can sustain itself for very long.

Wakabaaaaaaa T_T

Because if you haven’t, you really should. There are currently six episodes of the hit baseball anime streaming over at Hulu and, and I highly recommend all of them. Cross Game was one of the best anime of 2009, and it’s a damn shame that more people haven’t watched it. Heck, I think more people should buy the manga when it comes out in omnibus form in English – at a whopping 576 pages, you’ll be able to get a whole lot of Cross Game at once.

Sadly, the Hulu thing means that you won’t be able to watch the show unless you’re in the US, but that’s one of those sad facts of licensing.

Index 2, coming this fall

Picture taken at Tsutaya

If 2008’s To Aru Majutsu no Index anime felt incomplete to you, that’s because it was – the original novels have a lot more material to cover. While the spinoff To Aru Kagaku no Railgun was quite popular, Japanese blog Kyou mo Yarareyaku’s  picture of a To Aru Majutsu no Index 2 announcement has sent fans into paroxyms of glee.

So, get ready to see more of Kamijou Touma and his Imagine Breaker, because he’s back in action this fall!

Hopefully. The blog post on Yarareyaku includes the note “If this is a fake, I’ll never shop at Tsutaya again” somewhere among all the posts about K-On!! and ASCII pictures of dancing cats.

Oh hey, I’m allowed to announce this now.

May’n and Nakajima Megumi, who both broke out in the sci-fi musical hit Macross Frontier, are coming to Anime Expo and will be holding a concert at the famed Nokia theater in downtown LA.

You can see them both above. May’n is an amazing performer, while Nakajima Megumi is a much less polished product – but hey, she’s there to be cute, and she’s pretty good at that.

I am probably going to get tickets. No, I do not accept bribes.

Here, have another video that will convince you of how cool this is.

Excuse me while I fend off requests.

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Superman of Braves, Grandbraver!

I don't know what they were smoking, but I want some too.

I’ve watched this three times now, and I still can’t find any rhyme or reason to it. For the seventh episode of Mayoi-Neko Overrun!, the animation staff apparently went completely insane and did the whole thing as a pastiche super robot show. Almost all signs of the boring fan service show disappeared and were replaced by straight-up giant robot tale in the tradition of the Yuusha series. Heck, they even named the fake show Yuusha Choujin Grandbraver (“Superman of Braves Grandbraver,” and yes, I meant to translate it that way) and commissioned a different opening song from anime legend Fukuyama Yoshiki.

It’s kind of awesome, and certainly more interesting than the random nakedness and unfunniness of the main series. It also feels like their skimpy animation budget was just being saved up to make this episode, with better character designs, some big-name voice actresses (they brought in Tamura Yukari just for this episode, who has Yuusha cred thanks to her role as Tenryuujin in Gaogaigar), and new music from people who can actually carry a tune.

The question remains: why did they do it? And will they do it again? If so, I may just pick this show back up.

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Expect a whole lot of this.

Expect a whole lot of this.

Anime Expo keeps filling up with events I want to hit up, and the latest announcement from the anime convention adds another to that list. The show will host Black Lagoon creator Hiroe Rei as a guest of honor, and he’ll be bringing the first episode of the new Roberta’s Blood Trail OVA series with him. We’ll be able to get a sneak peek at the third series in the action series on July 1st, over two weeks before the official DVD and Blu-Ray release.

I may have said earlier that I wasn’t looking forward to this OVA because I didn’t like the manga’s story arc, but I am a huge sucker for exclusive premieres and hope I am not on duty when this screening takes place. Make it happen, AX!

Watch me!

Delicious, nutricious comedy in bite-size form.

It’s not exactly a surprise with Bandai owning everything else Haruhi, but Bandai has officially announced the licensing of the popular comedy shorts The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan and Nyoro~n Churuya-san. The anime shorts, which were based on 4-panel gag comics that have nearly eclipsed the original novels in popularity, started out on YouTube and even offered some rudimentary subtitles for English-speaking fans for a short time. Now you can also find them streaming on Crunchyroll, and Bandai says that the two series will come on DVD soon.

This is great news for those of us who loved the crazy and hilarious little shorts. However, it’s bad news for exactly one person, and that’s the poor guy who has to keep up with the breakneck pace of the hilarious dialogue in the series. Old friend and veteran translator Richard Kim happens to be handling the series for Bandai, and this is a good time to relate a conversation we had on Monday. It went like this:

Richard Kim: “KILL ME”
Me: “Hahahahahaha :D”

I am a sympathetic person.

On the plus side, you guys will be getting a great translation when the series comes out later this year, along with the usual Bang! Zoom dub. I’m already trying to pre-order my copy…

Guess you won't be seeing much of this anymore.

If only more people had realized how good this is.

This morning, I woke up to an IM from old friend Fred Gallagher, who told me that DC’s manga imprint CMX is going the way of the dodo. It’s a sad but inevitable event, as the US manga market has shrunk into nothingness and CMX sales have underperformed.

CMX  shuts down in July after six years in operation. The shutdown affects a whole lot of titles that were either great or deserved to be great, like Victorian romance Emma and Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne. While it doesn’t affect us at MegaTokyo so much, with MT moving over to DC Graphic Novels, it is yet another nail in the coffin of the English language manga market. With the news of layoffs at VIZ, Yen Press’ move to digital distribution, and the rumored death of Go! Comi, you have to wonder if and when the axe is going to fall on  TokyoPop or Del Rey.


Not shown: zombies

The anime industry may be jumping on the zombie bandwagon a bit late, but when they hop on a bandwagon, they do it with both feet. On the heels of the upcoming Highschool of the Dead anime comes the announcement that the action-fantasy light novel series Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (“Is this a zombie?”) has an anime adaptation in the works.

From the material available, it looks like this series has more to do with Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao than it has to do with George Romero-style horror. The story starts when young high school boy Aikawa Ayumu dies at the hands of a serial killer. His corpse is turned into a zombie by a cute necromancer (oh, Japan, you’ll add “cute” to anything), but far from becoming a mindless shambling killer, he goes the Buso Renkin route. With all sorts of superhuman abilities that come from his newly immortal body, he becomes embroiled in all kinds of crazy battles, with chainsaw-wielding magical girls and rival vampire ninja clans suddenly popping up everywhere.

This sounds like it could be legendarily stupid, wildly entertaining, or both – we’ll find out soon.

Weaponized despair. How can it go wrong? Oh, right... lots of ways.

So much promise, so little follow-through.

Well, they can’t all be hits. FUNimation’s weekend announcements at Anime Central only really generated excitement if you like boobs. If you do, hot dog – Sora no Otoshimono and both Rosario x Vampire seasons are coming your way in English next year, courtesy of FUNimation.

The two fan service-crazy shows highlighted a relatively weak crop of licenses from FUNi, including Nitro+ visual novel adaptation Chaos;HEAd, the post-apocalyptic high-school hybrid Koukaku no Regios, sci-fi Rideback, and former Geneon title GUNxSWORD. Most of those titles fall under the “No matter how hard I tried to like them, I just couldn’t” category for me, so I just can’t get excited for this announcement.