Streaming "Air"

The 2005 movie, "Air" is available for free viewing in japanese courtesy of Animate.tv. This showing is to commemorate the September 15 opening of the Clannad movie.

The movie is a reiteration of the anime. It's been a while since I last saw this movie. But from what I remember of it, "Air" is visually fluid. It's a nice and light story that should please any fan, regardless of choice genre. A traveling puppeteer enters a town that just isn't quite right. Yukito, the puppeteer, later meets up with Misuzu with a mission of her own. A dramatic, romantic and supernatural story, you're sure to enjoy it.

Divided into 3 parts, you can catch some "Air" here.


Grave of the Fireflies Live Action

The wonderful and epic novel turned into a little anime movie known as "Grave of the Fireflies," will be turned into a live action movie. The film carries a tentative release date of Summer 2008. This is one exceptional story set in Kobe in the time of WWII. It follows 2 young siblings as they struggle to survive during this time of incredible strife.

I sincerely hope the live action transformation is a success. The anime was truly perfection.


Eva Hype Continues...

Following up on my August 12th entry, Rei and the new upcoming "Evangelion" movie continues to attract the press. In addition to the stunning Rolling Stones issue, Rei boasts nicely on Continue's 35th volume and the September issues of Kinejun Information and Newtype Magazine. Monthly Shonen Ace has devoted their entire August 21st issue to all things Eva.


Afro Samurai iPod

Check out www.afrosamurai.com for details on how to win 1 of 8 rare 30GB iPods with custom artwork hand drawn by none other than "Afro Samurai" creator Takashi Okazaki. The iPods also adorn the autographs of Okazaki and director Fuminori Kizaki.



Hilarious, delightful, wistful, light, serious, joyous, heart rendering, and sad all at the same time, "Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo" (The Girl who Leapt Through Time), or "Tokikake" for short, is another unique movie to add to the list of legendary anime of all time. The story follows a girl named Makoto who is mysteriously endowed the powers to leap through time, allowing do-overs and all-night karaoke. Later, Makoto soon realizes the consequences of time travel.

Under the surface of its directive facade, lies a surprising treat of hidden deep plots and serious undertones. The movie definitely has it all and does it flawlessly. If there is one movie you should watch this year, make it "Tokikake." You'll be taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions...laughing out loud and later brought to tears of joy and sadness, all at the same time.


Kanno & Macross Reunite

Yoko Kanno will co-compose "Macross" newest TV series, "Macross Frontier." The story in production takes place in "20XX A.D." on a galactic colonization fleet named Macross Frontier. Other than a few voice casting announcements, no other information has been divulged quite so early in the process. No doubt, Yoko Kanno is sure to deliver to the caliber we are so used to receiving.


Otaku Gari

Akihabara has long time been a haven for otaku universally -- nerd heaven, if you will. However, this year alone, there have been an exponential increase in Otaku Gari (or Otaku hunting) where otaku's are hunted and robbed of their posessions. The growing international popularity of Akiba is largely to blame for this, as more people aim to buy and sell for higher prices in their homeland.

Akiba continues to be a hotspot for crime and just recently, a brother and sister were caught hunting. Their tactic? She would bump into the target and the brother would demand the "dork" to hand over "apology money." Once the otaku gari duo were apprehended, they confessed that "otaku are weak, and they've got big money, so we went after them." Foreign scroungers are taking over our beloved haven. It's time for us otakus to show 'em what we're made of! Let our hidden abilities surface from all those years of training... (^_^)


MapleStory Adaptation

"MapleStory", the fantasy massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), well known worldwide, will be getting the anime treatment in October. The "MapleStory" inspired anime will be broadcasted by TV Tokyo October 7th. According the ANN, it was previously announced that Madhouse Studios ("FFVII: Last Order", "VHD: Bloodlust") was to animate the series.


Eva Chronicles

30 color encyclopedia volumes make up the "Evangelion Chronicle," now for sale at the Official Eva Store at a retail price of about 240 bucks.

You can store your beautiful collection in 3 stunning custom made binders. And why not throw in two exclusive figures of Rei Ayanami and Asuka Sohryu Langley while we're at it? A great addition to any collection.


Where's my Katamari?

In the past, Playstation has always been able to boast about its lead in the gaming industry. As I stated around the time of the release of the PS3, what makes Playstation a force to be reckoned with has been its games and its exclusives -- the ability to attract only the best of games.

The Playstation 3 will be nearing its one year anniversary by the end of 2007, but things have not changed much. Players are still left yearning for kick-ass games, and with the most prestigious titles either carrying a 2008, 2009, or TBA date, the situation has not progressed. What's worse, Playstation is losing its edge in their run for exclusives. Nevermind that games such as "Resident Evil" and such come available on every console. But when games are available only to non-Playstation consoles, it's a pretty good indication of their winding streak.

I could deal with the fact that "Blue Dragon" wasn't going to be on the PS3, PS2, or PSP. Though I was looking forward to it. But to deal with the fact that "Beautiful Katamari" has turned into an XBox 360 exclusive, was asking for too much. If you've been diligently waiting for a concrete release date for the PS3 version, you will notice that it has been cancelled in both Japan and the U.S. All the while, October will see the release of "Beautiful Katamari" only on the Xbox. Way to go Sony!

I've always been a faithful fan of Sony, but is it time to move on? I hope not. But this mediocrity has got to stop at some point. I only hope it happens sooner rather than later. Come on 2008, don't disappoint!


Evangelion Saves Us

The cover of the September issue of Rolling Stone magazine (Japan Edition) adorns the elusive Rei Ayanami.

The cover coincides with an article called "Eva no Saishinsaku wa Eco Datta?" ("The Latest Eva Work Is About Ecology?") with the English subtitle, "Does Evangelion Save Us?" The article covers the Evangelion: 1.0 You are [Not] Alone movie
remake of the psychological science fiction series. It follows the magazine issue's "Rock Meets Eco!! Stop Global Warming" main feature.


Akiba Fest 2007

Virginia's very own anime store, Anime FX, continues their annual tradition of Akiba Fest today. This year's Akiba Fest J-pop Summer Bash, the interactive concert experience, will feature performances from Yoko Ishida & FICE. It was several years ago when I first picked up Yoko Ishida's CD. She definitely represents the J-pop scene and was one of the first artists to have a main stronghold in the US. This will be FICE's first time in America, and Akiba Fest is a great place to introduce fans to the visual kei part of japanese music. The J-pop duo is much like another duo, Funny Stones, who performed at last year's Katuscon in DC. Suffice it to say, FICE's performance should be electrifying. Other events surround the main concert -- merchants, contests, and other activities.

Doors will open tonight at 4:30 at the Jaxx Nightclub in Springfield, VA. Tickets will be available at the door, if you don't have yours on hand yet. For more information, check out the official Akiba Fest site.

The Akiba Fest Halloween Ball, October 27th, will feature Salia, from Unicorn Table and Psychic Lover. Salia is best known for her work on "Jinki Extend," "Vandread," and "Cutey Honey." And having met Salia before, I can tell you that her performance won't disappoint.


Naruto Marathon

Get ready for a string of "Naruto" madness. Cartoon Network will air 100 episodes of "Naruto" for 50 hours starting 6:00 am on Friday, August 17 and ending at 10:00 pm on the 19th.

Hence, for those of you so inclined, get your VCRs revved up and popcorn popped, or simply skip it altogether. The choice is yours.


F.E.A.R. Sequel

While there is still a long wait until the sequel to the awesome game "F.E.A.R." is released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, Monolith has finally narrowed down the title to three possible choices, and it's up to the fans to choose. Fans can visit www.nameyourfear.com to vote on their favorite title: 1) Dead Echo; 2) Project Origin; and 3) Dark Signal.

Alma is back. Need I say more? Based on an interview with Monolith producer Troy Skinner, the sequel will starts 30 minutes before the end of the first game. "Your unit knows all hell is breaking loose somewhere in the city, but doesn't know any details about Alma, the battalion of Replica soldiers on the loose, etc. Your team is assigned to a seemingly routine mission, when Alma is released, the city is leveled and the effects of Alma's increasing power are felt." Check out the whole interview at IGN. The screenshots only give a glimpse to what appears to be another wicked game stamped with a 2008 release date.


200,000 Yen Gundam T-Shirt

Bandai has released a deluxe "Mobile Suit Gundam" t-shirt with a hefty price tag of 200,000 yen (approximately $1,600). The t-shirt's design will be etched in handstiched Swarovsky crystals. While there isn't an available pic or artist rendition, according to a report, the t-shirt will comprise of Gundam Mobile Suits and Zakus, etc. from the original "Mobile Suit Gundam" anime. These glittery shirts will be available at select department stores in Japan.

It is also reported that plans have been made to release a more affordable version of the shirt in the US, France, Italy, Singapore, China, and Japan. This shirt will be comprised of glass beads instead of crystal and has an estimated retail price of 38,000 yen (about $320).


Alive: The Final Evolution Vol. 1

There has been an unusually high volume of talk behind the new manga, "Alive: The Final Evolution," and it seems to live up to the ever-growing hype.

Volume 1 of "Alive," just recently released, opens up a can of worms with a story that is like no other story I've read before. And as a person who's read her share of manga, light novels, and the like in every possible genre for almost two decades, this is saying a lot already. The overall setting and feel of the story is reminiscent of "Eden" and "Death Note," but even that's a bit of a stretch.

The story centers around Taisuke, and 3 other subsequent characters -- his sister (a nurse at Taisuke's high school), his best friend, and his "girfriend." A string of inexplicable mass suicides has occurred around the globe, including Japan, the U.S., and China over seven days, now deemed, "Nightmare Week." The cause of the mysterious suicides have been linked to a strange virus, but police are no closer to finding the cause.

The story's dark themes of life and death, and its wistful blend of comedy, make "Alive" an addicting manga. The author, Tadashi Kawashima, does an exceptional job in setting up the story and building a structure behind the four main characters and their individual connection to death. In fact, by the end of volume 1, Kawashima leaves a rather large opening, leaving the reader asking more questions and itching for even more.Why are some immune to the powers of the "virus", while others are only left to succumb to its will? What powers do Taisuke and his best friend, Hirose, have?

Volume 2 is set to be released at the end of October this year.