Archive for July 2010
Posted July 30, 2010on:
FUNimation is always good for a truckload of announcements at an anime convention, and they didn’t disappoint at this year’s Otakon. At its panel in Baltimore, they announced a handful of series that should please all segments of the fan population.
For the ladies, they have Hetalia World Series, the third season of the uber-popular “Let’s take countries and turn them into cute boys” fantasy. This makes it almost a shoo-in that they’ll have the newly-announced 4th season of Hetalia, which starts in September.
For the guys, they have Strike Witches 2 and Shukufuku no Campanella. Strike Witches 2 is a fan favorite due to its cute girls and distinct shortage of pants, appealing to that fetishized portion of the population that can’t decide which is sexier, military hardware or young anime girls. Shukufuku no Campanella is much more honest about its origins as an adult game, being 100% about anime girls being sexy with very little in the way of plot to get in the way.
The fourth title announced, Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi, has been the subject of a lot of discussion recently, most of it involving the overly chatty narrator and whether or not she gets in the way of the show itself (she kind of does, but that’s okay because the show itself is spotty in quality at best). And the fifth title, a rescue license from Geneon, wasn’t actually announced at the panel. Instead, it started streaming today on FUNimation’s video site, like a pink-haired ninja with giant boobs, surrounded by other ninjas with similarly big boobs and a propensity for fan service.
In movie news, Eva 2.0 and Summer Wars were both picked up for DVD release, with the Hetalia movie coming along for the ride. Evangelion and Summer Wars were both big hits, while Hetalia is pretty much a license to print money at this point.
There are plenty more announcements to come at Otakon, and even FUNimation isn’t done – so stay tuned to see what’s still to come down the anime pipeline!
The latest light novel to anime conversion is Infinite Stratos, a relatively new and unknown series by rising author Yumizuru Izuru. The science fiction series has sold 400,000 total copies over five books so far, which is a modest success but nothing to write home about – for comparison, the To Aru Majutsu no Index novels have sold 7.7 million over 20 books.
Infinite Stratos is about a world where a new type of powered suit can only be operated by women. This newtechnology, known as the Infinite Stratos (IS), leads to a revolution in society, changing the world into a matriarchy. But, since there are Rules about these things, a boy named Orimura Ichika accidentally activates an IS system and becomes instantly famous. “The only boy in the world who can use an IS” is immediately drafted into an elite IS pilot academy where, because there are Rules about these things, he runs into a lot of his childhood friends amidst the gaggle of cute girls who are all fascinated or threatened by his presence.
All of this is pretty much an excuse to have a high school romcom/robots hybrid, with a Strike Witches-style twist where the girls are hybridized with the mecha. There also seems to be a shortage of pants, judging from the book covers, but I am strangely okay with that.
The most interesting thing announced so far about this anime is that it’s going to have Kikuchi Yasuhito (Macross Frontier) at the helm, while Eight Bit (Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime) will handle the animation. I have a lot of faith in those two names, and that upped my assessment of this announcement from “another light novel to throw into the pile” to “This could explode in popularity like K-On!” Time will tell.
By now, most of you should be familiar with the Japanese practice of gijinka, where various objects and programs are turned into cute girls or prettyboys. It’s pretty standard now, but Choujigen Game Neptune (Superdimensional Game Neptune) has taken this to an all-new high – or low, depending on your perspective on the trend. Choujigen Game Neptune, an upcoming RPG for the PS3, is a collaborative effort between Gust, Nippon Ichi, Compile Heart, and Idea Factory. It stars cutesy anthropomorphizations of all of the companies as they descend into the Game World and try to put an end to the destructive Hardware Wars.
Yes, that’s right: Neptune must team up with Nippon Ichi-chan, Gust-chan, IF-chan, and Compa-chan to save the world. It’s the most self-referential and strange thing I’ve seen since Sega Gaga for the Dreamcast, and it is mind-boggling to think of the thought process that went into the concept of this game. Crossover specials like Street Fighter X Tekken or Capcom vs. SNK are one thing, but it takes a special kind of brain to say “Hey, let’s turn our companies themselves into cute young girls and have them summon our game characters as their attacks!”
I’m a little ashamed to say that I’m tempted to pre-order this.
If the second season of the criminally undersold Arakawa Under the Bridge didn’t wow you, don’t worry – the prequel to Nisio Isin’s famed ghost story series Bakemonogatari is going to be animated by Shaft soon. With Kizumonogatari in the pipes, fans can now rest assured that the hit 2009 anime is going to get much, much more anime. Kizumonogatari takes place before Bakemonogatari, and covers the strange sequence of events that turned Koyomi into a vampire, then cured him. Also of interest, it shows how Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade became the quiet little Lolita she is in the main story. No date or format has been announced for the new series, which is probably for the best.
With this announcement, it becomes very safe to say that every -monogatari story in the series is going to get its turn getting animated by the overworked people at Shaft. Whether or not they’ll be completed in time for release is another question entirely, thanks to the now-infamous missing scenes scattered throughout the Bakemonogatari anime. That’s good, because the hard-working Nisio Isin is scheduled to bring out a new novel every three months until December of next year.
Not content with finishing up Nekomonogatari (“Tsubasa Tiger”) in October, he’s following them up with Keimonogatari (“Mayoi Jiang-Shi”) in December and Hanamonogatari (“Suruga Devil”), Otorimonogatari (“Nadeko Medusa”), Onimonogatari (“Shinobu Time”), and Koimonogatari (“Hitagi End”) in 2011. Shaft’s going to fall behind at this rate – but then again, no one really expects them to be on time anymore.
In other news, this is the most hyphens I have ever used in a single post. I felt like mentioning that.
Remember when G4 used to show anime? Yeah, neither do I. But, in a move designed to grab the same crossover audience that both Marvel and Madhouse are going for with their Marvel Anime collaboration, G4 is reviving its “anime” block in 2011 with all four Madhouse anime based on Marvel properties: Iron Man, The X-Men, Wolverine, and Blade. They have a streaming trailer up for the Iron Man series, and while the CGI doesn’t look great, I’m still swimming in fanboy glee.
Update: The Super Robot Wars official anime page is up, and gives the new anime a fall season start date!
What’s this I see on the Internet? A new Super Robot Wars OG series that takes place after the overly-political Divine Wars series? And it’s subtitled The Inspector, just like the first villains of OG2? And the promotional images include Lamia Loveless and Axel Alma, the stars of the Shadow Mirror arc of OG2 with their Angelg and Soulgain mechs?
Well. It looks like after a complete failure to bring Super Robot Wars OGs to the US (my source says that this was due to the exorbitant cost of creating a dub track for the game, which Sony insisted on), we have another chance to bring the glory of Super Robot Wars to American audiences.
Seeing this makes me want to pull out my copy of SRW OGs again – though if you make me play all 50-some turns of Chapter 22 (the first Inspector map) again, complete with the dozens of saves and reloads that come from the bosses frequently one-shotting Gilliam, Viletta, and Ryuune, I may just hang myself.
Anyway, The Inspector will be a TV series, covering the events of OG2 much like Divine Wars covered the events of OG. It has a very experienced staff behind it, with Oobari Masami (Gravion) in the director’s seat and respected names like Katoki Hajime (Virtual On, G Gundam) and Kotobuki Tsukasa (Godannar) filling out the long, long roster of character and mecha designers.
Out of curiosity, how many of you have played Super Robot Wars and know what the hell I’ve been talking about with my name-dropping of mechs and miscellaneous levels of Japanese mecha strategy RPGs? Hit the jump for some awesome videos from the game series, which you’ll see in animated form soon enough.
Minor manga rag Manga Time Kirara Forward has announced on the cover that fantasy action title Yumekui Merry (Dream-eating Merry) is getting the anime treatment. If you haven’t heard of Manga Time Kirara in general, I don’t blame you – it’s mostly known for K-On! and Doujin Work, neither of which really made it big in manga form.
The story of Ushiki Yoshitaka’s manga starts with Fujiwara Yumeji, a boy who can walk in other people’s dreams and observe them. One day, he bumps into Merry Nightmare, a denizen of dreams who has managed to cross over into the real world. Like so many other manga protagonists, he gets sucked into a fight with other dream denizens, not nearly as benevolent (or cute) as the Dream Eater Merry.
No date is yet announced for this adaptation, but based on the timing of the announcement, I suspect that we’re going to see this coming to TBS and BS-TBS in late 2010/early 2011.