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Pick over the drawn & quartered corpse of ADV!
Feb 24
// Pedro Cortes
Hark, what is that sound? That's the sound of money not flooding out of your wallet. It's a sound that comes with sales, like the one currently going on at the RightStuf. The retailer's current big sale features titles from M...

Review: Godannar Complete DVD Collection

Oct 07 // Pedro Cortes
Godannar Complete DVD Collection [DVD]Studio: OLM Incorporated / Anime International Company Inc.Licensed by: Sentai FilmworksRelease Date: 10/01/13MSRP: $64.98 [Amazon | Rightstuf] Set in the future, monsters known as Mimetic Beasts have attacked humanity, forcing man to create giant robots in their image, as they're wont to due in this kind of situation. While Tokyo is destroyed by a particularly difficult to kill baddie, a pilot named Goh Saruwatari manages to save his boss's young daughter, Anna Aoi, while killing the monster in the midst of all the rubble and trashed robots. Five years later, Goh and Anna are set to get married, only to be interrupted by the reemergence of the Mimetic Beasts. Goh jumps back into his mech, the Dannar, while Anna unseals an old mech and joins her fiancee on the battlefield to help save humanity. The two regularly combine mechs on the field of battle as they also struggle to maintain their relationship in the face of constant interruption from Goh's little brother, petty arguments and the occasional ex-flame. While robots maybe one of Godannar's draws, the real heart of the show is in Anna and Goh's relationship. Separated by 12 years and a ton of life experience, the two regularly have trouble understanding each other. Anna is still in high school, often lacking the maturity to deal with Goh's stubborn nature and his traumatic past. Goh is much older, yet is also emotionally stunted from his participation in the events that open the show. He has trouble getting close to his fiancé and uses his piloting as a way to keep himself from getting hurt again. The two often clash, but there is plenty of genuine love and affection. It's surprisingly touching, and it's not often you see this kind of relationship in anime-- much less in a fanservice-laden giant robot show. It really makes Godannar feel like it's aimed at an older audience. Speaking of fanservice, that is another one of  the show's big draws. Considering the aforementioned older audience, they packed these 26 episodes with as much boob-bouncing, rear angles and crotch shots as possible. In fact, I would've loved to have seen a jiggle counter in the corner slowly ticking up as each episode went on. With as many female characters as this show features, I wouldn't be surprised if that jiggle counter overloaded at several points. I mean, they even included bouncing boobies for the female-shaped robots. It's ridiculous and it kept me amused the entire time, though those rigidly against fanservice will obviously take issue with it and have difficulty enjoying the show as a result. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there were robots in this show. Yeah, giant honkin' robots (without even a casual relationship with reality and/or the laws of physics) leap around and slam their fists and feet into the hideous-looking Mimetic Beasts and, every so often, into each other. Each area of the world that contributes to the war effort has a pair of representatives that pilot a combining robot. Each of these pairs has some sort of messed up romance that is more or less dealt with throughout the series, though they all take a back seat to the Goh/Anna drama. Included is a very busty dominatrix from Russia and her passive manservant, an English playboy and his stepsister with a brother-complex, two women from America that cannot admit their romantic feelings toward one another and the Chinese pilots that should just get married already. Each one of their mecha looks unique and totally off the wall, as well they should on a show like this. Besides the pilots, there are the usual wacko engineers and servicemen at the Godannar base. They provide a fair amount of comic relief while occasionally providing moments of poignancy after certain events. One of my favorite episodes focuses just on the mechanics and their daily routines in keeping the robots functioning. It's a nice touch, since so many comparable shows have side characters just like this and invariably forget to do anything with them. No such missed opportunity here. The show looks and sounds good. While it isn't GAINAX or BONES level of animation, everything is solid. Some may not like the ridiculous female character designs, but considering how bizarre the hot-blooded male pilots and mechanics look, I felt the style was consistent overall. The soundtrack sounds sufficiently like an old mecha show, with a pair of cheesy opening songs and an assortment of blood-pumping action tracks. The voice tracks are particularly amusing for me, as the casts in both languages absolutely get the kind of show they're working with. The Japanese tracks has a bunch of great mecha seiyu intentionally overacting and chewing up scenery. My favorite performance is by far Nobuyuki Hiyama (Viral from Gurren Lagann, Gai from GaoGaiGar), who dials up the hot blood as a pilot that somehow manages to survive impossible situations, despite everybody thinking he's dead. I also liked the English voice track; the actors have fun with the cheesiness of the whole production, but know exactly when it to reign it in for the serious parts. In terms of bonuses, Sentai's release has got a decent amount. Inside the case is a booklet with staff and cast interviews, as well as various sexy bikini shots that appeared on the original packaging for Godannar. On the disks, you get the usual clean opening and closing videos, as well as another swimsuit gallery, character and robot files, production sketches, key words and a couple of bonus clips. Despite the slimmed-down packaging from the original DVDs and Thinpak, this has a lot of stuff in it. If you've read a word of what I've written, you can tell that I loved this show. It's fun, looks good and has a lot of heart, hidden behind a lot of heaving mammaries. It's not often that you get a solid, interesting relationship that grows in a show with a lot of giant, flaming robots and half-naked ladies. The only negatives that I could mention would be that I wished we got more development from the other pilots, and parts of the second season can look cheap. Oh, and if you're offended by fanservice, steer way clear. Besides those minor quibbles, mecha fans and people looking for romance would do well in picking up Godannar.   8.0 – Great. A great example of its genre that everyone should see, regardless of their interest.  
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A marriage of robots & boobs
The robot genre has changed in many ways over the years. For one thing, the stories have become more complicated, incorporating social commentary in an effort to appeal to wider audiences beyond children who are impressed wit...

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A Daily Dose of Battles: Shin Getter Robo vs Getter Robo


Big mecha epicness
Jan 28
// Hiroko Yamamura
Let's literally kick things off with our first themed Daily Dose of 2013! The week, your favorite Japanator editors let you know which famous anime battles get their adrenaline going, fists clenched, and showcase what we all...
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Those Who Hunt Elves makes its way back to manga


Blast from the past
Jan 17
// Hiroko Yamamura
I never got got a chance to read the original Those Who Hunt Elves manga, but I was a huge fan of the first anime series. Stripping elves, a curry loving strongman, and young girl driving a tank is a hard combination to resis...

Review: Elfen Lied

Oct 31 // Pedro Cortes
Elfen Lied (DVD)Studio: ArmsLicensed by: Section 23MSRP: $34.98 [Amazon Rightstuf]   At the beginning of October, a close friend of mine showed me a couple of insane screenshots of a naked girl ripping groups of armed men to shreds. At the end of the caps I saw this girl rip the head off of some secretary and used the body as a bullet shield. I…was quite surprised to say the least. I found out this was the Elfen Lied the guys were talking about and, knowing the rather conservative policies of my university, understood why there was no chance in hell it was ever going to be viewed publicly. I decided to take matters into my own hands and I downloaded every episode that was out at the moment. With my blazing (at the time) DSL connection, I managed to get the first ten or so episodes in a couple of days and began watching it. I couldn't wait to reach the point where that naked girl was going to go apish!t taking out her attackers. That's got to be some crazy, climactic plot point, probably nine or ten episode in. Well, I didn't have to wait long. That scene was the first ten minutes of the first episode.  No joke, the opening shot is a twitching severed limb, freshly removed by Lucy, the aforementioned naked girl. Lucy proceeds to kill everything in her way via decapitation, forceful amputation and a high-velocity pen in one instance. If you wonder why security doesn't try to shoot the naked lass, believe me, they try. Lucy blocks them all with the a pair of invisibly tendrils, coincidentally the same pair of transparent limbs she uses to conduct her killing. Near the end of her escape, Lucy is met by a large group of guards and Kurama, one of the higher ups at the facility. At this point, a cute and clumsy secretary stumbles in front of Lucy and becomes the lady who gets her head popped off like a Coke tab. Lucy slaughters the guards that get in her way and as a little goodbye gift, leaves a bloody handprint on Kurama's back. After a couple of swats, the last door opens up and Lucy walks out onto the nearby cape. Right when escape is so near, a high caliber anti-tank round manages to surprise her. Instead of killing her, the shell knocks off her helmet, revealing long red hair and a pair of horns on Lucy's head. The blow is enough to render Lucy unconscious and she topples over the edge of the cape and into the water. In a dramatic change of tone, we're introduced to Kouta, a rather clueless college student with quite the traumatic past. He's offered a place to stay by his cousin's family in Kanagawa, so he takes them up on their offer and moves in. There he reconnects with his cousin Yuka, who he hasn't seen since the death of his father and sister. Yuka is surprised that Kouta doesn't remember the correct circumstances of the tragedy and plays dumb when the topic comes up. The two go out for a walk on the nearby beach, which Kouta remembers going to with his sister before her death. While reminiscing, the injured Lucy appears on the beach, completely regressed into an infantile personality that Kouta and Yuka name Nyu. From there, the show balances between a stereotypical romantic comedy and a hard-boiled horror show that revels in the blood it spills.  Thus the central conceit of the show is set up. Kouta's rather relaxed intro compared to Lucy's chaotic escape is a good microcosm of the show as a whole. Light-hearted moments are balanced by the constant possibility that Nyu can become a heartless monster, and a complex monster at that. Yes she kills any human that crosses her like flies on a wall, but the lines she creates in her head as to who she kills and the reasons for doing so are a bit more complicated. Her actions are never justified, but you can't help but feel pity for her. At her most vulnerable, Lucy understands the gravity of her actions and what they did to Kouta, one of the few people that ever cared for her. Once again, it isn't enough for forgiveness, but considering the events that lead up to her capture you can understand a little better.  I would be remiss if I didn't go into detail about the kind of creature that Lucy is. The diclonus, a genetic mutation that resembles a human with a pair of horns on its head, is almost always depicted as a cold-blooded monster that's main instinct is to eliminate human life. Their main method of destruction are their 'vectors', psychic extensions with variable length, strength, abilities and numbers. For the most part the vectors are capable of reflecting lower caliber bullets and tearing human flesh with ease. We're introduced to several other dicloni through the show with varying levels of mental and psychic control. Of all the ones introduced, only one is capable of living amongst humans and that's through her lab-focused upbringing. I'll get more into the specific dicloni in a bit, but it's important to note that the natural inclinations of this creature is one of death. Over the course of the show, several lost souls join Kouta, Yuka and Nyu at the Kaeda house. There's a homeless girl named Mayu, pushed away from her foster home by a sexually-abusive father and a jealous mother, is the first to come along. While not having much to do with the story besides witnessing one of Lucy's rampages, she's an example of the kind of person that Kouta wants to take care of. Later in the series, Mayu says that Kouta and Yuka are like the mother and father of the Kaeda house, which is an apt description when you consider the romantic arc of the series. Besides that and the puppy that she brings with her, she doesn't add much else. The other girl to live in the Kaeda house is Nana, a diclonus brought up to not have murderous inclinations despite being subjected to constant horrible tests in a lab. Nana is interesting on a couple of levels, mostly with how she's diametrically opposite to Lucy. First off, she doesn't attempt to kill her targets or any one really. Even when she's sent to take care of Lucy, she tries to not kill her and pays quite a hefty price for it. Second, she has somebody that she looks up to Kurama as a father figure. It's explicitly stated that dicloni will kill their human parents if they are allowed to a certain age, so they're typically euthanized when they are found in hospitals. For whatever reason, Kurama's organization decided to keep Nana alive and the poor girl fixated on Kurama to keep from going insane in the lab. That positive influence is enough to prove that not all dicloni are monsters, but unfortunately most of the others aren't put in similar conditions and even with that influence she has one moment where she slips into a typical diclonus rage. In essence, Nana represents the possibility of all dicloni, one that will likely never reach fruition. Without a doubt, I categorize Elfen Lied as horror. As to why exactly, it's a little tricky. On the surface, there's a ton of blood, violence and wonton murder that you can point at. However, I feel that it goes deeper than that. By the time you see how quick Nyuu can turn into Lucy, you know that there's no way things can end well for anybody around her. Several times she goes from a lost, mewling lass in one moment and turns into murdering machine due to a memory trigger or physical blow. There's also the casual way that the dicloni slaughter humans. They absolutely believe that they are an evolved, better species and the only reason that Kouta avoids death is through his bond with the younger Lucy. Much has to be said for the soundtrack, which is appropriately creepy at the just the right times. The music director did a great job in creating beautiful music to be used as a juxtaposition of the awful things happening to these characters. I recommend Elfen Lied to everybody who isn't put off by intense violence. It isn't high art by any stretch of the imagination, but it is entertaining and has made more than one person shed a tear at its conclusion. At a time where incoherent violence is used with little or no meaning, I feel that the death and murder that goes on in Elfen Lied have meaning in the end. 9.0 – Exceptional. One of the best things its genre has ever produced. Its example will be copied or taken into account by almost anything that follows it.
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Enough claret to coat the walls
Since it's Halloween, I figured I'd do a write up on one of my favorite shows that just so happens to fit in with the horror spirit, the violent classic Elfen Lied. However, let me give you a bit of context. Fall 2004 was a p...

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Uh-oh: ADV suing Gainax over live-action Evangelion deal


Aug 15
// Josh Tolentino
It's never fun when legal troubles stir up parts of the industry and this new occurrence involves a rather beloved property, namely Neon Genesis Evangelion, a.k.a. OMG TEH REI a.k.a. The Gainax Golden Goose. I'm sure that ADV...
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Slayers Pun Assault!


Jan 17
// Jon Snyder
Those who have been around me long enough know that I'm something of a connoisseur of puns. Recently, I was scrounging around the anime section at my local Fry's Electronics, and I ran across a rarity: and ADV Thinpack collec...
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FUNimation will make their own anime


Nov 24
// Karen Mead
FUNimation has appointed executive Chris Moujaes to the post of Director of Original Animation. Now, Moujaes, previous President and Chief Creative Officer of Boomstar Inc., seems like a reasonably qualified fellow, so there'...
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ADV hits us with a slate of new titles, including Clannad: After Story and He Is My Master


Jul 30
// Brad Rice
Looking for some ecchi comedy? Or how about some sappy love story that Dale can't get enough of? Well, ADV has all that and more, with the latest slate of series they're set to distribute from Sentai Filmworks. The list inclu...
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Morning News Roundup: E3 is in full swing


Jun 03
// Brad Rice
For many of us, we've been keeping our eyes glued to Destructoid, G4, or just about anywhere else we can get videogame news for the past few days. And for myself, working with the rest of the team at Destructoid has certainly...
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Sentai Filmworks license-rescues Dokkoida, Daphne, and Kannazuki no Miko


Jun 02
// Jeff Chuang
Just in case you were wondering about the fate of our favorite yuri + giant robot anime, Sentai Filmworks decided to pick up three more Geneon's abandoned titles, Kannazuki no Miko, along with Dokkoida?! and Daphne in the Bri...
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The Anime Network moving off Comcast


Jun 01
// Brad Rice
The Anime Network is apparently moving off one of the bigger Northeast cable providers, Comcast. Based on ADV's quote below, it seems like they were forced off, probably for not having enough subscribers or not meeting some q...
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ADV has no plans for Blu-ray


May 26
// Tim Sheehy
Anime Boston is one event I wish I could have made this year, but unfortunately my schedule wouldn't let up enough for me to fit it in. If anything, I'm sad about missing the Kalafina concert. I'm sure people who go...
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The Anime Network debuts new tiered-content online player


May 19
// Brad Rice
The Anime Network's online video player has finally been upgraded, and now they've debuted their service with a tiered structure, offering content to three of its user-groups:Free content, which is open to anyone on the Inter...
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Anime Central 2009 ADV industry panel


May 10
// God Len
There were two important industry panels at Anime Central this year. One of these panels was incredible optimistic and happy, while the other was depressing and sad. To no surprise, the ADV industry panel was the sad one. The...
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ADV saves CPM anime


May 06
// God Len
Remember when Central Park Media filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a week ago, and that all those anime titles that used to belong to them were going to be burned in some kind of giant bankruptcy fire? Well not anymore! The good...
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The Anime Network drags some more titles kicking and screaming onto the Internet


Apr 20
// Brad Rice
Hm, I seem to be talking about nothing but video on demand and streaming video today. I wonder why? Anyways, this last post from me today is about our good old friend ADV, and some of the work they've been doing recently. The...
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Yen Press nabs Azumanga Daioh license, attempting to buy Kiyohiko Azuma too


Apr 03
// Brad Rice
In an interview with Yen Press (well, Orbit) man Kurt Hassler, Tiamat's Disciple got word out from Kurt that they've licensed Kiyohiko Azuma's famous 4-koma title Azumanga Daioh. The title is a natural fit for Yen, of course,...
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ADV Watch: Former powerhouse's titles now on iTunes


Mar 24
// Brad Rice
A quick note for all of you jumping to Japanator first thing in the morning: ADV has finally started releasing their shows on iTunes. In the past they've gotten their stuff on Crunchyroll, Xbox Live, and the like, but without...
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ADV still has some tricks up its sleeves


Jan 17
// Rio McCarthy
ADV has produced some of my favorite anime over the years, so it's great to hear good news from them finally. There is now a beta site available for ADV's Anime Network, which already has a few shows online and seems to be a ...
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ICv2 talks with ADV on future, gets some licensing news out of them


Oct 22
// Brad Rice
ICv2 caught up with the CEO of ADV, John Ledford, who assures us that the company is still around. The company's still refocusing their business strategy, and they managed to come out relatively unscathed from Hurricane Ike....
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Evening roundup: Fire in Osaka, ADV licenses something, and more Simpsons x Death Note


Oct 01
// Brad Rice
Now that I'm back from New York Anime Fest, I don't really want to do much of anything else. So, I guess that means I might as well try and relive the glory of the con by posting some news, right?Well, there was a rather dead...
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ADV isn't in hibernation, they're still crashing


Sep 10
// Brad Rice
I figured ADV was just a hibernating bear at this point, but I guess I was wrong -- they're still hemorrhaging out some works. Well, as it turns out, they've canceled the BeastMaster Complete Collection (which was supposed to...
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ADV and FUNi scheduling ADV title releases


Jul 19
// Brad Rice
Over at Robert's Anime Corner Store, they're getting sick of answering the question, "when are the ADV titles FUNi acquired coming out?" so they just posted a portion of a letter from FUNi's Larry Griffin stating th...
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ADV discontinues more titles -- they better still have Five Centimeters per Second at their Otakon booth


Jul 11
// Brad Rice
Great. More titles have been canceled. I was eyeing picking up Five Centimeters per Second at AnimeNEXT, but decided to pay an extra $10 and get Kino's Journey as a box set. So now, you better still have a decent stock when I...
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Anime Expo '08: ADV industry panel


Jul 04
// Dale North
Not much to say here. Instead of liveblogging, I'll just paraphrase with bulletpoints:ADV has a "replacement partner" nowEvangelion live-action movie is under consideration from 3 major studios and 1 Japanese studio...
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FUNimation sucks with the sending out press releases, great at selling anime


Jul 04
// Dale North
Like, really. I plan to rectify that this week, but know for now that they've nabbed 32 former ADV titles. Today they announced "their agreement to transfer ARM’s interest in select series to FUNimation." FUNi...
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ADV, what are you doing to me? Several titles now 'indefinitely suspended'


Jul 03
// Brad Rice
ADV, what are you doing to me? First, you barely know you've got a panel going, much less what licenses you have, and now you've gone and put several titles on indefinite hiatus? Robert's Anime Corner Store let us know that S...
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Anime Expo '08: ADV Sneak Peek panel... whatever the hell that is


Jul 03
// Dale North
I just ran across the ridiculous length of the Los Angeles Convention Center to make it from the Dealers room to the ADV panel room in time. I just made it! I have no idea what to expect from this, but I'll be live-blogging t...
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PiQ failure due to lack of...everything?


Jun 26
// Zac Bentz
Over on GameSetWatch, Kevin Gifford has posted a bit of a rant concerning the closure of his anime/gaming/film/what-ever-it-was magazine PiQ. While he does still "believe that a new game magazine that's perfectly ...
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Help out ADV and buy some office furniture. Wait, what?


Jun 26
// Brad Rice
There was a bit of word floating around the 'net this morning regarding ADV and whether or not they were liquidating everything. An auction was being held for a "large video/DVD company" earlier today. AnimeOnDVD go...
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ADV Manga's heart is still beating


Jun 26
// God Len
Brigid from Mangablog wants to let everyone know that ADV Manga is still alive, but being alive and being well off are two different things. ADV has been filling orders and pumping out books for awhile now, but they are not p...
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The Anime Network teams up with TVN for some on-demand action


Jun 23
// Brad Rice
For those of you wondering what's up with The Anime Network, they've signed a 3-year contract with TVN Entertainment to provide VOD services for ADV's anime channel. This'll include both their free-on-demand stuff as well as ...






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