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Bandai Entertainment

Annotated Anime: Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans episodes 4-5

Nov 10 // Josh Tolentino
Iron-Blooded Orphans' fourth episode mostly consists of place-setting, giving out more details as to the situation between Earth and Mars (more on that in a bit), as well as emphasizing what's at stake for the people involved. Now that Tekkadan has its first job - escorting Aina to Earth to appeal for Martian independence - the crew need to go about the hard work of, y'know, getting her to Earth. With Orga and the other leaders off getting CGS' old space-ride up to spec (and sleazebucket Todo planning some kind of betrayal), Mikazuki and the others get some downtime, which they spend picking corn from Biscuit's family farm. It's here that the orphans' hard-luck situation is underlined further. Crappy economics and the stigma of being "Human Debris" - slaves, basically - mean that Tekkadan is their only chance at an honest living. Incidentally, the episode also lays out a little bit more background on Earth's history in the Iron-Blooded Orphans setting. I love this sort of stuff, mainly because of sci-fi anime's propensity for redrawing the map in hilarious, color-coded ways. It's always fun to see the way a given setting organizes its world can clue you into its own worldview. In this case, Earth's four power blocs include the U.S. and Latin America united in the SAU, East Asia, Australia, Oceania, and the subcontinent in their own little co-prosperity sphere, and Europe largely absorbed by Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia. Poor Russia has to make do with Canada and Alaska. All things considered, it's not quite as farfetched as some other anime world maps I've seen, though one can't help but wonder just what in the world took out that huge chunk of New South Wales. A meteor capable of making a crater that big would compare favorably to the one that killed the dinosaurs! Mikazuki also has a run-in with Fareed and Gaelio, who are on Mars trying to investigate just what it is Major Coral is hiding. A bit of bad driving later, Mikazuki accidentally starts a rivalry with both Gjallarhorn agents, and Fareed gets to pull his Candy Man schtick on a couple of kids.  All the setup here pays off in episode five, where the Tekkadan heads to space for the first time. Todo's betrayal - selling out Aina to the Tekkadan's would-be guides and Gjallarhorn - goes down, only to reveal that Orga had it thought through. He's a smart guy not to trust the smirking geezer sporting a Hitler mustache. This is where Tekkadan's own White Base, an assault ship redubbed the Isaribi comes into play, debuting with an asteroid-based anchor turn straight from that awful Battleship live-action movie. It looks better than it sounds. What doesn't look as great is Gundam Barbatos' first turn at space combat. Conceptually, it's great. Nobody in Iron-Blooded Orphans has any beam weapons yet, so it's all about bullets and heavy steel axes, including Barbatos' awesome hybrid of poleax, lance, and pile bunker. For a guy who's never flown, Mikazuki seems a natural at space combat, something Fareed puts down to the kid's Alaya-Vijnana System. Simply put, not only do the horns on Mikazuki's back make the Gundam behave like his own body, but expand his awareness like some kind of Cyber-Newtype (but without the whole thing with "This Pressure!!!"). Strong as that is, though, it's a thing Fareed quickly learns to exploit, targeting the extraneous, spiky bits that Mikazuki can't "feel" naturally, like Barbatos' thrusters. You don't mess with the chocolate man. On a side note, it's interesting to see the closest thing this Gundam has to the "Newtype" archetype cast as something forced on only the lowest of the low classes. Everywhere else, Newtypes are the future of human evolution. In Iron-Blooded Orphans, they're a form of mutilation and, like Gundam Frames, a relic of an old, irrelevant war. That's a contrast I'm actually hoping the show is bold enough to take further. With a bold rescue and a traitor disposed of, we're 2 for 2 in Tekkadan's favor, and despite the fact that Orga, Mikazuki, and the crew have come out ahead pretty much every time they've gone up against the odds, what's fun about Iron-Blooded Orphans is that it still feels pretty great to root for these perpetual underdogs.  [Check out Iron-Blooded Orphans every week on Daisuki and YouTube!]
Iron-Blooded Orphans photo
The Candy Man Can
It's been a little while since we last checked in with Iron-Blooded Orphans, and as a result, we're a little behind. Stuff is definitely happening, though, from table-setting in cornfields to the beginning of what is clearly the Tekkadan's rise to power. Now, won't you take these sweets as a form of apology?

Gundam the Origin 2 photo
Gundam the Origin 2

Have your first lengthy look at the next episode of Gundam: The Origin

That Artesia, she sad
Oct 21
// Josh Tolentino
It looks like the hot, shirtless boys of Iron-Blooded Orphans aren't the only game in town when it comes to Gundam. There's also the undying chronicles of the Universal Century, which Bandai will never abandon so long a...
Iron-Blooded Orphans photo
Iron-Blooded Orphans

Annotated Anime: Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans episode 3

When Iron Flowers Bloom
Oct 20
// Josh Tolentino
Back when first wrote about Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, I noted that the show's more morally ambiguous, grittier approach seemed to set it apart from its peers in mainline Gundam fiction. As of the latest episode, that sentiment continues to hold true.
Gundam Iron Blood Orphans photo
Gundam Iron Blood Orphans

First Impressions: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Steel Yourself
Oct 11
// Josh Tolentino
Another year, another new Gundam series. My interest in Sunrise and Bandai's flagship has waxed and waned over the years, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm rarely attracted to the "mainline" shows that make up the core ...

Code Geass: Akito photo
Code Geass: Akito

There is, in fact, a 3rd episode of Code Geass: Akito the Exiled

He really was exiled
Mar 29
// Josh Tolentino
Wow, and here I thought Code Geass had just about departed from living memory, when Bandai releases a trailer to remind us that no, we're not done yet. Or rather, that we'll finally be done soon, since the trailer revea...
Saint Seiya photo
Saint Seiya

Saint Seiya returns next month

All that glitters is gold
Mar 17
// Hiroko Yamamura
Get your polish ready! Toei's Saint Seiya is set to return to the airwaves next month, and you're going to want your armor looking spiffy. The show will be available via a stream on Bandai's channel globally, so many fans of...
Gundam 00 photo
Gundam 00

Asians and Swiss get a merry Gundam Christmas

And just them, pretty much
Dec 24
// Josh Tolentino
While not everyone celebrates the Christmas season, the occasion has become widespread enough that most companies usually trot something out to commemorate the holiday. The fine folks running the website have done...

Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 10

Dec 12 // Josh Tolentino
Following Team Try Fighters' victory at the regionals, nationals are next, but just as before, with Sei and Reiji's brief post-qualification vacation, we take a break from the tourneys to catch some Z's, recharge, and let Mirai, Sekai's elder sister, have some time in the son. And boy, does she. [embed]33359:4354:0[/embed] Sekai isn't kidding when he says his sister's "not just for show", and Mirai proves it aftergetting drafted into a Gunpla race to promote the new "Gunpla Collection" fashion line (truncated to "Gun-Colle", it's  a clear reference to Kantai Collection). Yuuma is on hand to exercise his puppy crush on her, and helps her build her first custom Gunpla, the Mama Beargguy II and its sub-machine Petit-Beargguy.  It is adorable. And I'm not just talking about the Beargguys here. The episode is pure, delicious fan service, much like the triumphal "Gunpla Festival" episode from late in the first season. References abound in the forms of Yuuma's Zeta Gundam-based dream dates, as well as the themed outfits of the various runway models at the show. We even get another first-season cameo, courtesy of Durarara!! character designer Suzuhito Yasuda and his illustration of Hollywood celebrity Mihoshi (née Kirara) and her gorgeous seven-years-later look. The episode doesn't skimp on the cool gunpla either. As mentioned, the Beargguys are adorable (Beargguy should be promoted to become a proper mascot for the Gundam brand at large), but also cool is the black-and-gold color scheme of the Turn A Gundam used by Taku, celebrity creeper and rival for Mirai's attention. Of course, Taku gets his comeuppance in the form a Jigen Haoh School-powered crotch punch, and he definitely had it coming. Sadly, Yuuma still doesn't get his mack on, and with Fumina and Sekai as something of the pair to watch in Build Fighters Try, poor Yuuma's affections may end up unrequited  for this series.  Next week, a training montage, with even more season 1 pop-ups! 
Build Fighters Try photo
Mama-Beargguy and Cubbguy
Survival guides teach us that a good way to deal with a bear is to make ourselves look larger, make a bunch of noise, and generally give the impression that you're no easy prey.  But what about Beargguys? More importantly, what about Mama Beargguys?!

Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episode 9

Dec 06 // Josh Tolentino
Well, now we're in it! Team Try Fighters are up against arguably the toughest opponents yet: Team G-Master, runners-up at the Nationals, and with Gunpla Academy Alum Akira Suga in tow. They just trashed poor Gyanko, who seems more competent than her elder brother ever was (despite not advancing as far, relatively speaking), and our hero trio are next. But first, a dose of humanity. Build Fighters is not the kind of Gundam show where anyone truly comes out as a "villain". Even Chairman Mashita, the big bad guy, was kind of a putz. Not a good guy, by any measure except Ms. Baker's, but not a monster. Which would explain why Akira seemingly leaves character to administer Bright-style discipline upon Sakashita when she can't help gloat. I say it seems out of character because just last episode I had Suga pegged as the kind of guy that doesn't respect the purity of the competition. But here he is in all the fullness of a true warrior's spirit. Odd. It's a similar deal with G-Master's captain, Sudou, pilot of the Mega Shiki. Perhaps it's an artifact of not having enough build-up for the G-Masters, but Sudou hadn't come across before as the type of character so obsessed with winning that he'd sacrifice his bride as a Gunpla builder and go into the tourney with a commissioned Gunpla. I suppose the earlier note about his shock at having to play at Model Damage Level A for the first time back during his Nationals bout would cover it, but character motivations like that require more than a throwaway conversation to stick and not feel contrived. Not even the heroes are entirely spared the inconsistency. Build Fighters Try has been struggling to give Yuuma a more compelling motivation, so in Yuuma's suicidal sucker-saber trick, we see his determination to win and go past his typical builder-esque conservatism. At the same time, though, the show hasn't exactly established much tension between Yuuma's attitude as a builder and his attitude as a fighter, never mind the fact that Sudou's own character arc in the same episode (as well as Build Fighters' first season) renders that dichotomy absurd. Gunpla battle is inseparable from Gunpla building, but both fighters and builders can have fun, however they play. It might sound like I'm down about this episode, and in some ways I am. Build Fighters has had a lot of success at making good characterization seem effortless, but this week things felt a little bit too forced for comfort. But who cares, because the action was awesome. Everything you want out of Gunpla battle's inherent silliness is here. Gundam references, teamwork, insane G Gundam martial arts feats (blocking an Itano Circus with your elbows?!), Fumina splitting the Winning Gundam, and the most pitched battles of the series so far. It gets so intense that both teams end the fight with impromptu triple combinations. Let it never again be said that "you can't punch someone in the face with a Core Fighter". And of course, Sekai goes full Super Saiyan, activating the Build Burning Gundam's secret system, setting the Plavsky Particles on fire and achieving such perfect synchronization with his machine that injuries to the Gunpla appear on his own body. Given how utterly nuts that is, I'm guessing that that might have something to do with why whoever built the Build Burning Gundam (Sei, perhaps?) sealed it away. Having a system that causes physical injury feels anathema to the positive vibes of the show, not to mention the similar "Embody" technology from last season was the closest anyone came to true villainy. That said, it's interesting to see that type of gimmick turned to a just cause, and have it look really great, besides. Next week, Build Fighters Try takes a load off, with a swimsuit episode. Now now, don't groan. Mirai gets to pilot some Gunpla, and judging by the preview, there'll be plenty for true fans as well as fanservice hogs.
Gundam Build Fighters Try photo
Sick (Build) Burn
Y'know, I like Build Fighters Try and all, but in retrospect, it's kind of nuts that it took this long for someone to put the "Burning" in "Build Burning Gundam".  But hey, it finally did happen, and it was awesome.

Annotated Anime: Gundam Build Fighters Try episodes 7-8

Nov 30 // Josh Tolentino
First and most likely to bear fruit is episode 7's bout with Team FAITH, consisting of two mooks who look like they stepped off the set of Doraemon, and Shimon Izuna, a varsity boxer that's taken up Gunpla Battle to motivate his sick brother. The kicker is that Shimon fights with "straight assembly" models, which are Gunpla built to stock specifications, without paint, panel lines, or any hint of customization. English-speaking builders call this "snap building", both by the distinctive sound of pushing two pieces together and the speed of the build itself.  In a game where the depth and quality of a model's customizations can make the difference, snap builds are the essence of "default quality". Of course, Shimon's piloting skills are top-notch, and the plucky newcomer uses a snap-built Destiny Gundam to pulverize a bunch of custom competitors, proving that Gunpla Battle is not pay-to-win. At least, that's until he loses to the Build Burning Gundam, and Shimon's brother vows to take up the custom standard next time, happily holding a Destiny Impulse Gundam as a preview of sorts...probably. I'm hoping Shimon's next Gunpla is more boxing-themed, like maybe a Maxter. More importantly, the episode itself raises some classic questions about the depth of our heroes' resolve, as prior to the fight, FAITH's two mooks secretly beg the Try Fighters to throw the match so as not to discourage the brother's recovery. Fumina and Yuuma are shaken, but Sekai is unperturbed, for one should never bring deception to a proper fight. Indeed, both he and Shimon are of like mind, as relative outsiders to Gundam appreciation, who enjoy Gunpla Battle for its competitive aspect, and no one in that mindset enjoys a tainted victory. Their duel is just as intense, complete with mutual breakage, a sweet armbar, and a classic Inazuma Kick, as Shimon makes good use of the Destiny's built-in hand laser. Even the mooks get a chance to shine, pushing Yuuma and Fumina out of contention by forcing their gunpla out of the ring, acting with all the drama of a classic grunt suicide attack. Overall the duel doesn't quite rise to the level of Reiji vs. Fellini in season 1, but it does show that even in the team-based environment of Build Fighters Try there's plenty of room for two individuals to hash out a grudge match.  The next episode establishes Team G-Master of Miyazato Middle School as the people to beat in this half of the series, though as I mentioned, the price of doing so is the honor of poor Gyanko. Her R-Gyagya gets trashed with nary a scratch on Sudou's Mega-Shiki, the blue Hyaku-Shiki-derived Gunpla customized by Yuuma's would-be builder rival, Minato Sakai. I'm counting on him actually appearing in the battle sooner or later, as he was able to beat Sekai using an SD Gundam he snap-built in mid-air way back in episode 5.  Until then, we'll have to look forward to a fight with Akira Suga, a guy who's the spitting image of Gundam's Sleggar Law. Hell, even the post-credits scene goes so far as to call him "a Sleggar", and he flies a customized G-Fighter. He seems dangerous, as he doesn't respect the purity of competition, and knows enough martial arts to be able to use it while flying a gunpla that doesn't even have legs, a torso, or the usual things you need to do what we'd call "martial arts". [embed]33311:4335:0[/embed] But that's for next week's matchup, where we may finally see where the "Burning" part of "Build Burning Gundam" comes from, as well as possibly learning more about the parts the previous season's principals will be playing as Team Try Fighters crawls up the leaderboard.  
Gundam Build Fighters photo
Of Snap-Builds and Snapped Shields
When last we checked in with Gundam Build Fighters Try, "teamwork" was the name of the game, as Fumina debuted her support-specialized Winning Gundam, acting as a true leader should, to bridge the gaps between her two superst...

Gundam Unicorn photo
Gundam Unicorn

This ad for a Unicorn Gundam model goes full Psycho (Frame)

Due this December!
Nov 19
// Josh Tolentino
I've never been that much into model-making, Gundam or otherwise, so I've never had much of a reason to pay attention to commercials for the things. Then again, if they're all as cool as Bandai's new ad for an upcoming ...
Space Dandy photo
Space Dandy

A Look at the next season of SPACE D-A-N-D-Y

Going where no Dandy has gone before
Jun 05
// Dae Lee
Our erratic alien hunter and his bemused crew are due for another season, and soon! More throwbacks, homages, and alternate universes are just waiting to be discovered.  Here we get a full-fledged trailer that puts all ...

Space Dandy's English cast revealed

Dec 05 // Tim Sheehy
<Character> -- <Japanese Cast> / <English Cast> Dandy -- Junichi Suwabe / Ian Sinclair QT -- Uki Satake (9nine) / Alison Viktorin Meow -- Hiroyuki Yoshino / Joel McDonald Dr. Gel -- Unsho Ishizuka / J. Michael Tatum  Bea -- Kosuke Hatakeyama / Micah Solusod  Perry -- Banjo Ginga / Kent Williams  Honey -- Yurin / Alexis Tipton  Scarlet -- Hoko Kuwashima / Colleen Clinkenbeard  Narrator -- Masaaki Yajima / R. Bruce Elliott
Space Dandy news photo
Toonami's January 4th premiere date reaffirmed
In an effort to hype us all to death -- and no, we certainly don't mind -- Bandai Visual has reaffirmed Space Dandy's January 4th premiere for Adult Swim's Toonami block. They've also passed along a short list of English voic...

Eureka Seven re-licensed photo
Eureka Seven re-licensed

Funimation licenses Eureka Seven TV series

Rescues the show from the defunct Bandai Visual USA
Nov 25
// Tim Sheehy
We really shouldn't be surprised. Today, Funimation announced they've licensed Eureka Seven. It's not unheard of for a show to be rescued long after a publisher folds. Following the dissolution of Bandai Visual USA, Funi...
Gundam photo

First teaser for the final episode of Gundam Unicorn

It's so glorious
Nov 20
// Tim Sheehy
The seventh and final installment of Mobile Suit Gundam UC is almost upon us, and while that news should bring a huge smile to our face, it's sad knowing that the series is headed for it's epic conclusion. To tease us and pu...

Review: Akira 25th Anniversary Edition

Nov 11 // Pedro Cortes
Akira 25th Anniversary Edition [DVD/BD]Studio: TMS EntertainmentLicensed by FunimationRelease Date: 11/12/13MSRP: $34.98 [Amazon | Rightstuf] Set 30 years after the end of World War III, Akira takes place in Neo Tokyo, a hovel of a city that’s a husk of its former glory. The government is corrupt, the police are violent, biker-toughs roam the streets; all the usual signs of the post-apocalypse. While trying to fight off a rival biker gang, Kaneda and Tetsuo get caught up in terrorist activities and a government conspiracy to create powerful espers. The ensuing insanity leads to a whole lot of death, destruction and two former friends repeatedly screaming out each others names. The final orgy of destruction takes place at the stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which should be amusing to anybody that attends the real-life games in seven years. Just, you know, be sure to check under the stadium. It’s a fairly simple story if you take it at face value. Knowing that there’s a much longer manga might complicate things a bit, but when you consider it’s a “put-upon guy gets super powers and goes nuts” story at heart, it’s easy to follow. All the back story involving Akira is pretty ancillary compared to Tetsuo and Kaneda’s beef. All the talk of psionic humans and crazy cults sits behind two boys scrapping over who can ride (an admittedly awesome looking) bike. Let’s be frank, nobody is really watching Akira for the story. It’s good enough and the setting is interesting, but it takes a back seat to the spectacle of its presentation. Booming music and glorious animation are why you're watching this classic. It’s amazing that after 25 years and an excellent restoration, Akira still looks fresh. The detail in the city as it’s falling apart, the blood dripping off the bodies of Tetsuo’s victims, the buildings and lights streaming by racing bikes-- this film is a masterpiece of cinema. There are few movies even now than look as good and as full of life as this flick. This is a movie that you use to test out new TVs and sound systems. On technical prowess alone, Akira is worth owning. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a look at what’s in this package. Funimation has put in three language tracks: the remastered Japanese version from 2009, the remastered Pioneer/Animaze English version from 2001 and the original 1988 Streamline English version. For the sake of posterity, I put on the 1988 English dub and it provided me tons of entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t very good. I’d say it’s borderline awful. However, it has glorious amounts of 80’s cheese in it and I love that stuff. Having seen the 2001 English dub before, it’s a lot better than the trashy Streamline dub, but it lacks its crappy charm. Quite frankly, this is a film that every anime fan should own: it’s a legendary movie that has stood the test of time. It’s one of my favorite animated flicks, with a dystopian future reminiscent of the stories envisioned by geniuses like Phillip K. Dick, William Gibson and Ridley Scott. Fans of science fiction will love this movie, fans of animation will drool at the excellent remastered footage and fans of weird stuff have a mutated psi-baby in an Olympic stadium. If that doesn't sell you on Akira, nothing will. 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.
Akira photo
If you ask most people who grew up in the late 80s/early 90s what anime was, they’d probably say Akira. This film impacted not only the geeks and nerds, but had the sort of cross-over appeal that most shows don’t ...

Char's Zaku Cake photo
Char's Zaku Cake

Christmas cakes are boring, buy a Zaku cake instead

That red hot zaku has never looked sweeter
Oct 16
// Kristina Pino
If you're living in Japan and thinking ahead for December, consider treating your honey to the Zaku that is rumored to be three times tastier than the average Christmas cake. I mean, what could go wrong when you've got chocol...

First Impressions: Gundam Build Fighters

Oct 15 // Pedro Cortes
Now, a lot of people in the world of Gundam Build Figthers are seriously into the Gunpla Battles. So much so that there's an officially-sponsored World Gunpla Battle to determine the best pilot and model maker. Years prior to the start of the show, Sei Iori's father was the runner-up in the second World Tournament. Unfortunately, all Sei got from his now-missing father was exceptional model building skills and a tiny model shop in the middle of the city; he doesn't have a drop of his father's piloting skills. Luckily for him, a chance encounter with a mysterious, red-headed foreigner named Reiji leads to Sei finding the right pilot for his model kits. The problem is, Reiji has absolutely no interest in being a Gunpla fighter--all the lazy kid wants to do is bum a spot at Sei's house and work off his debt with Sei's MILF-y mother.   Thinking all is lost, Sei leaves Reiji asleep at his place and heads to school, calculating ways to improve his Build Strike Gundam. Yuki Tatsuya, the high school president (and head of the model club) presses Sei about entering the World Tournament, but Sei admits that he has no piloting skills. Back at the Iori Model shop, Reiji gets bored and decides to visit Sei at school. Accosted by one of the upperclassmen, Yuki convinces Reiji to Gunpla Battle with the upperclassmen with Sei's Build Strike. Reiji easily wins the battle, but comes face to face with Yuki's Amazing Zaku. Yuki handily defeats Reiji, enraging the foreigner and convincing him to become Sei's pilot. With that settled, Sei notices a halo of light around Reiji, followed by the redhead disappearing up into the sky. It makes sense in context.   Really this show is a Gundam fan's dream. Right away you see a bunch of suits from old shows in Sei's display case. Everything from the RX78-2 to the Exia is on display for everyone to see. There's also a familiar old man with a mustache named Ral who comes in to drop some knowledge on these punk-ass kids. If you're not familiar with Gundam history, the character is based off of Ramba Ral from the original Mobile Suit Gundam and is even voiced by the same guy. Everything in these first two episodes rewards long time viewers; it's the show that Sunrise needed to make after AGE. It's good fun, not po-faced and wallowing in its own misery. These kids just want to fight with their model kits and be the best. It isn't terribly original, but still preferable to another war-orphan fueled retread. I can't wait to see which suits pop up week to week and engage each other in the Plavsky-Particle drenched light of the Gunpla Battle. Check out Gundam Build Fighters over on the official Gundam site.  
Gundam Build Fighters photo
Cheerfully rescuing the franchise from the rubble
To say that Gundam AGE was a disaster is an understatement. While the show started off well and had good intentions, it fell victim to holier-than-thou protagonists spitting out anti-war propaganda messages that made little t...

Free! photo

Get your hot-stuff Free! plushes ready to swim all swimming men should be
Oct 12
// Josh Tolentino
Hey, Free!'s a thing, right? Kyoto Animation may be on to Beyond the Boundary now, but the legacy of their landmark swimming anime will live on, if Bandai has anything to say about it. All the ladies and lads that want to snu...
Otaku Goods photo
Otaku Goods

Dragon Ball Z hair wax is like Gatsby for Saiyans

But probably won't land you any dates
Sep 23
// Tim Sheehy
I'm sure there are some of you out there who dream of styling your hair like a super Saiyan, but have yet to find a suitable way of spiking your hair into a giant golden cone without having to rely on buckets of hairspray or ...
GITS Arise preview photo
GITS Arise preview

The first 8 minutes of Ghost in the Shell Arise rise up

Or should I say 'arise'?
Jun 14
// Josh Tolentino
Hankering for another dose of Ghost in the Shell and schlocky Microsoft Surface promos aren't enough to do the job? Bandai and Production IG have just the thing for you! How about eight full minutes of Ghost in the Shell Ari...
Backlog: MS Gundam photo
Grand pappy Gundam
Like a lot of folk who buy anime, I have a bad habit of purchasing shows and not watching them. At this moment, I can turn around, look at my shelf and find at least two dozen shows that I haven't completed. Hell, some of th...

Saint Seiya figure photo
Saint Seiya figure

Behold, a figure that costs 60 million Yen

Golden indeed!
May 15
// Josh Tolentino
Yes, friends, you read that headline correctly. Sixty million Yen. As of this writing, that's a shade under $586,000. What a way to celebrate Saint Seiya, right? In commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Saint Seiya's Sain...
Gundam UC commercial photo
Gundam UC commercial

The TV commercial for Gundam UC 6 has appeared

I love Aimer!
Feb 25
// Hiroko Yamamura
Gundam Unicorn 6: Two Worlds, Two Tomorrows is creeping up on us, with it's digital release less than a week away. We get a peak at the new television commercial, which features some nice shots of Full Frontal and Sinanju, b...

Ghost in the Shell: Arise project launch to be streamed

Feb 04
// Elliot Gay
The Ghost in the Shell franchise holds a very special place in my heart. When I was just a little kid, my uncle purchased a copy of the film on CD. While I didn't understand any of the story content at the time, I was blown a...

Things are getting deep in Gundam Unicorn 6

Getting Charry
Feb 02
// Hiroko Yamamura
Today we're treated to the follow-up trailer for Gundam Unicorn Episode 6: Two Worlds, Two Tomorrows. We see a lot of the same footage, but get to hear some deep lecturing by Full Frontal. His hair-cut just looks so uncomfor...

The latest Gundam Unicorn trailer has been sighted

More Destroy Mode please!
Jan 14
// Hiroko Yamamura
It feels like I've been waiting for forever, but the new trailer for Gundam Unicorn 6: Two Worlds, Two Tomorrows is finally upon us. Banagher is geared up for battle, and it doesn't look like Full Frontal is just going to be...

NYCC '12: The toy roundup

Some highlights from sister site Tomopop
Oct 18
// Kristina Pino
Now that NYCC is pretty much covered, I'll be dropping in with some anime-related toy stuff that we wrote about at Tomopop! Check out these links: Gallery: Vash the Stampede Kotobukiya booth overview Namco Bandai and ShiftyL...
Lots of yummy artwork
I've been holding onto this unboxing video for this week, just like unwrapping a birthday present for Macross's anniversary. So I dug into the special edition Blu-Ray set, which includes goodies like the remastered Macross: ...

JapanaTen: Ten Bandai shows you should pick up right now

Sep 03 // Pedro Cortes
1.) The Big O (Volume 1 and Volume 2) The Big O is one of those shows that hit big back when it was on Toonami. The story of a man piloting a giant robot in a city suffering from mass amnesia really caught a lot of peoples attention, especially with Steve Blum's solid performance as main man Roger Smith. While the first season was excellent, the second season left a bit to be desired with its strange ending, but that doesn't take away from an overall solid show that appeals to anybody who has wanted to see a Bruce Wayne-esque figure save a city with the help of a cool-looking giant robot.   2.) Outlaw Star (The Complete Collection) Another show that hit big on Toonami, Outlaw Star proved to be one of the bigger shows that came out of that block. I can understand that too, as its unique blend of high-tech space travel and magic has yet to find a parallel. Starting off with young punk Gene Starwind getting involved in a series of events that leaves him with a legendary ship that can lead him to a priceless treasure, Outlaw Star goes in some pretty unexpected directions. For fans of mercs, magic and space travel, Outlaw Star shouldn't be missed.    3.) Cowboy Bebop (The Complete Collection and Movie) Speaking of mercs and space travel, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Cowboy Bebop. Considered one of the best shows made, this show made its impression on the first run of Adult Swim. Hell, it's still getting replayed after years of syndication and reruns on Adult Swim and the revived Toonami. In case you don't know anything about Bebop, it's the story of a group of bounty hunters who travel around and try to escape their pasts. It has a wonderful soundtrack, a set of great characters and one hell of an ending. It would be a damn shame of Bebop disappears, as everybody should have the chance to own this masterpiece.   4.) Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (First Season and Second Season/R2) Set in an alternate world where the kingdom of Britannia has taken over Japan and subjugated its people, Code Geass is all about the deposed son of Britannia's king and his tale of revenge against the family that ruined his life. What makes Geass more interesting than your typical revenge story is the immense amount of political intrigue and maneuvering that Lelouch pulls off with the use of a special ability that allows him to implant commands into the minds of those that gaze into his eyes. Lelouch remains one of the more complex heroes in any show of seen, being both incredibly clever and absolutely ruthless in achieving his goals. There are some who malign the show for the slow start of its second season, but that isn't enough to ruin the show. Besides, that's only for a short while. Once it picks up, the second season will keep you on your toes as it gets to its violent conclusion. Geass is worth picking up, if only for having one of the best main characters put into a show.   5.) The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (DVD) Stepping away from TV shows, I want to highlight this wonderful movie. Set in modern day Japan, a young girl finds out that she can literally jump into the past. She uses this ability frivolously, until she finds out that her actions can have some pretty serious consequences. It was a beautiful movie, both in art and spirit. I found it to be quite touching, its finale leaving a tear or two in my eye. Unfortunately, the gorgeous Blu-ray version of the film seems to have already gone of out of print, so be sure to grab either the normal or limited edition version of the DVD before it too disappears.   6.) My-HiME (The Complete Collection) My-Hime is a great 25.6 episode show. Unfortunately, the last couple of minutes of the last episode undermines the all the drama that had been built up. However, that doesn't mean that My-Hime isn't worth picking up. Despite its weak finale, it's still a great show. Set at an exclusive academy, girls with the Hime mark must use their summoned beasts to protect the populace from some pretty gnarly beasts. The show gets really interesting when you find out that the Hime have to eventually face off for an unknown purpose with some fairly dire consequences. It's some good stuff, despite those last nine/ten minutes.   7.) Mobile Fighter G Gundam (Complete First Collection and Second Collection) There were a ton of different Gundam shows I could've mentioned on this list, but I chose G for several reasons. First and foremost, it's the Gundam show that doesn't take itself seriously. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of good drama. However, it isn't as stoic as Wing, 00 or the various Universal Century shows. It's core premise, Gundams from nations around the world that have to fight in a tournament that determines which country will govern everybody, isn't as important as lead man Domon Kasshu's search for his brother and the Gundam he stole. G Gundam also feels like a super robot show, unlike the rest of the Gundam franchise. If you had to pick one of the many Gundam shows that Bandai has in its catalogue, I'll have to give the nod to G.   8.) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Season 1, Season 2 and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film) Haruhi is another of those ubiquitous shows that just about everybody knows about. If it weren't' for the disastrous second season, where a clever idea was taken too far, it would probably still be on top of the anime world. Haruhi Suzumiya is a girl that gets what she wants. So much so that it seems like she's a god, where just about all her whims end up becoming reality. This has placed an alien, a time traveler and an esper in the same club with an ordinary guy nicknamed Kyon, whose purpose isn't apparently clear. What makes things more interesting across both seasons is that the show is shown out of order, intentionally obfuscating certain bits of information for comedic and dramatic effect. It works well, despite the repetition of eight episodes in the second season. The film, titled The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, had a lot to prove, what with coming after the Endless Eight fiasco. It somehow managed to live up to both the fans and the skeptics expectations.  Beautifully animated and skillfully told, it's an alternate universe where Kyon is the only one who remembers Haruhi. It's the last thing I've seen come from the franchise, which is a shame as there could've been so much more. I definitely recommend picking up the first season and the movie. The second season is difficult to recommend, due to having eight episodes that are the same on it. However, there's some really good content on there, including the episodes where they show how the film was shot from the first season.   9.)  Star Driver (Part 1 and Part 2) More Revolutionary Girl Utena than Gurren Lagann, Star Driver is a school drama that has some pretty nifty looking robots that serve as a means to an end. Yes, the robot fights are wonderfully animated and the mech design is top-notch weird, but the big focus of the show are the tangled webs weaved by the scantily-clad student council. The Utena correlation doesn't stop there, as the structure of the whole show mirrors the shoujo classic, going so far as to have elaborate musical sequences that play with the same stock footage when the lead character prepares to battle a foe. To its credit, it makes WAY more sense than Utena. In short, main man Takuto ends up attending Southern Cross High School, where he finds a cabal of students and professors who are attempting to capture several shrine maidens on the island and remove their seals. Takuto stops them from removing the Southern Maiden's seal by summoning a mech of his own, much to their surprise. From then on, Takuto takes it upon himself to protect the remaining maidens while trying to find out what's going on. Star Driver is a fantastically animated show with a ton of style and likeable characters, hence why it makes it on this list. Unlike most of the titles on this list, you can get a Blu-Ray of the show and I recommend that you do. It's worth the extra scratch.   10.) Gurren Lagann (Complete Collection, Childhood's End and All The Lights In The Sky Are Stars films) Finally, this wouldn't be a list written by me without some sort of reference to this classic. I mentioned earlier that Code Geass was one of the shows that got me into mecha. This is the other, more important one. Produced by GAINAX, the guys who brought you Gunbuster, Evangelion, Diebuster, FLCL and more, Gurren Lagann is the super robot genre distilled down to its most bombastic elements. Starting off in an underground city where humanity has been forced underground, it quickly escalates into a story of survival when the ceiling of the underground city collapses under the weight of a giant robot fighting a single busty sniper named Yoko. Two guys, the fiery Kamina and the meek Simon, join the sniper and help out a group of rebels repel beastmen who seek to kill them. That's where it starts, but trust me when I say that the stakes get much, much bigger by the end of the show. Gurren Lagann is by far my favorite show and I recommend it to anybody who likes robots, action and drama. Yeah, that's right, they manage to fit in some good drama between the explosions and battles. More than any other show here, I would be quite saddened if nobody else kept this show in print. This is not a complete telling of the things that will be disappearing come mid-November. You've got stuff like Wolf's Rain, Sola, Eureka Seven, Crest of the Stars, Witch Hunter Robin, Escaflowne, Lucky Star, K-On!, My-Otome, Planetes, and let's not even get into all of the various iterations of Gundam. So now I kick things over you, the reader. Tell us some of your favorite Bandai-licensed shows from the past and present. Do you own them? Are you looking for them now? Will you pick any of these up? Let us know!
Get 'em before they're gone!
With Bandai announcing the final date that it will be accepting renewal orders, a ton of shows will be going out of print. Granted, there's a chance that some of the properties that Bandai had will be rescued, but i...

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