Tuesday, July 31, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Tokyo Babylon

Before their appearance in the CLAMP motion picture/anime series/manga X, Subaru(one of the Seven Dragons of Heaven) and Seichiro(one of the Seven Dragons of Earth) had the earlier years of their lives shown in this occult 2-part OVA series.

Here, Subaru is a psychic from a long line of spiritualists who professionally help safeguard people from supernatural occurances. His sister is also a spiritualist of sorts and has a crush on their family’s longtime friend, the vet Seichiro. The fate surrounding them in X is not truly given away in the anime, and only breifly mentioned in the X movie. But Tokyo Babylon is still a great look at mysticism in modern-day Japan. The two episodes are totally seperate from each other. The first one had Subaru being called in to investigate a possible murder involving a man with extremely good luck who seems to be the only one surviving all the tragic accidents happening at his company’s construction site. The second episode is much longer dealing with a psychopath on a subway, and a woman with post-cognitive powers that allow her to see into the past.

The animation is great with theatrical quality and sceneric imagery. This is one of the better of CLAMP’s pre-Cardcaptors stories to be done as an anime. Look it up!

MISC. MANGA, *Video Girl Ai

This is one truly masterful blend of comedy and romantic fantasy! Masakazu Kastura(creator of Iria and DNA 2)truly peaked with his title: Video Girl Ai.

Lonely heartbroken Yota learns the girl he had a crush on is really in love with his friend. On his way home from this revelation, he sees a video store that he never noticed before, and decides to take home a “video girl”. In Japan, a video girl is a video-recorded date for men. But this one is a real Video Girl, and comes right out of the TV into Yota’s living room. Now, he’s got Ai, his own little genie-like playmate for three months. It’s her job to comfort him and make him feel secure, but because Ai’s tape was played on a VCR, her program becomes different and she starts to fall in love with Yota. While at the same time Yota is trying to get over his feelings for his unrequited love, Moemi, who on her own seems to have a thing for Yota too even though she’s now dating his friend Takashi. Then, Ai gets sent away by her creator, and redone with a new mission, to just root for Yota. But their love for each other prooves too strong, which causes Ai to be sent away again. When she returns, she has no memory of Yota or the love she had for him. This while Yota has gotten a new girlfriend in the cute Nobuko.

Does Yota pick the right girl in the end? Will the Video Girl god ever leave Ai alone and let her get a normal life? All the questions and more are in the manga. Also try to track down out the cool anime on DVD or video also from Viz!

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 4: Page 5

Story by Jer Alford, art by E. Aedo.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Devadasy

Yet one of several rips of Neon Genesis Evangelion, this 3-episode OVA throws in some Ranma 1/2 tropes to fill it out.

Taking place after an alien attack on the Earth in 2012, a teenage boy named Kei and his girlfriend Naoki are recruited by a government orginization called Spirits to operate the Evangelon-looking mecha, Devadasy. It takes a male and female pilot to operate it, and lucky Kei has his pick from several sexy candidates to choose from as his partner since he’s the only male pilot. He has a strong attraction toward the silent Amala who shares a secret link to his late father. Devadasy actually works on the sexual energy between its two pilots, which almost sounds like its a hentai video, but its not. They must use Devadasy to clense the Earth of the alien infestation which are like huge bacteria monsters, because an even larger force the size of a solar system are coming towards Earth!

This OVA series has some decent animation and unique storytelling. I’d check it out if Eva was too preachy for you.

MISC. MANGA, *Super Street Fighter II: Cammy

You might’ve seen one or two Street Fighter comic book series over the years, but this one is pretty much the original actual Japanese manga to have been done in English. Originally run in Viz’s Game On! magazine, Super Street Fighter II: Cammy is mainly centered around the title character. This is pretty good cause we’re always being told about Chunli, Ken, Ryu, and the others. Don’t worry though, a few of the regulars like Dhalsim, Guile, and even the rarely seen Deejay show up, though Cammy is really the star.

Cammy is an agent for Britain’s MI6 which is like the U.K. version of the FBI. She is highly trained in martial arts, although she has no real memory of her past. We learn that Cammy was first captured by Shadaloo to be part of a secret team of sleeper agents and given treatments to make her into a living killing machine. But Cammy rebels against her former masters and goes for Shadaloo’s grand poobah, M. Bison.

Masahiko Nakahira’s artwork is really boss in this and make it the best non-animated Street Fighter story so far(OF COURSE!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 4: Page 4


Story by Jer Alford, art by E. Aedo.

ANI-MOVIES, *End Of Evangelion


A number of anime TV shows get a second wind with a theatrical continuation, but the hurricane of controversy known as Evangelion wasn’t satisfied with its overtly cryptic series finale. They basically set up the last two episodes of their show to act as little more than a lead on to what would eventually be the “real ending” to their epic saga. End Of Evangelion was shown as the fully-intended release, although this was after the complete waste of time, titled Evangelion: Death And Rebirth. Eva: D&R was intended to be the original release, but because of budget cutbacks and time restraints, the entire production was cut back to only showing the first half-hour of End Of Eva in Eva: Rebirth, while Eva: Death was just a glorified clip show with some new footage made specifically for the film(including the chilling “elevator scene”!). Despite its completion, End Of Eva was still done as a seperate release in both theatres and on home video, plus the film is split into two episodes, each complete with its own closing credits. Why they didn’t just have both of them in a single feature is unknown, but then again this is from the same crew that included the intermission from Eva: D&R on the actual DVD!

The movie takes place after episode #24 of the TV series where Kowaru was revealed to be the last Angel, and regretablly killed by Shinji in Unit-01, although he was still able to get over his depression by “shooting one out” over a comatose Asuka. SEELE decides its time for them to take control of things by implenting 3rd Impact on their own, and to do that they need Unit-01. They send in special forces to NERV headquarters and start killing everyone. Misato rescues Shinji, and gets him to Unit-01, only to end up getting shot to death. Asuka lies at the bottom of the lake near NERV in Unit-02, and finally gets over her mom not being alive. She goes all Chuck Norris on the army attacking her, although they reveal the rest of the series of Evas which are all automatic. Asuka manages to stop all nine of them before her energy runs out, but the Evas have the ability to heal themselves, and pick apart Unit-02. Shinji grieves over Misato, but finally even Unit-01 has had enough of him acting like a complete pussy, and activates on its own. Shinji arrives to see Unit-02 completely destroyed, and totally freaks out. Meanwhile, Ritsuko has tried to stop Gendo from merging Rei with the giant form of the angel Lillith. Gendo kills her for her trouble, and then uses the Adam embryo inside him to begin 3rd Impact. Rei however betrays him, and chooses Shinji’s wishes over his by merging with Lillith, which mutates her into a colossal giant. Rei grows to unbelievable heights and starts absorbing all the souls on Earth, everyone else has melted into goo(or LCL). Shinji is then absorbed into the giant Rei where she turns over the fate of the mankind to him. After alot of scanning over his own psyche and some pointless live-action footage, Shinji decides that he’d rather live with humanity and all its flaws. The ginormous Rei collapses, and the souls are sent back to be reincarnated, while Shinji and a resuscitated Asuka are possibly the last two people left alive on the planet.

Okay, so on its own, the movie provides a much more satisfying conclusion than the actual TV ending. The animation is a serious step-up from the series, which shows in the gory action scenes, specifically Asuka’s Eva fight and the entire 3rd Impact sequence. All the characters are given decent airtime, and each one gets a good exploration into their psyches, which are even more screwed up than the series ever let on. It’s still very ambigious though, and really hard to piece together unless you’ve bothered watching it in unison with the series at least three times prior. The English dub by Manga Entertainment is pretty good and features most of the actors from the TV series, although for some stupid reason there were some unnecessary sound effects added to it like “splats” when someone’s head would get shot off by Misato. Where the movie doesn’t deliver is in the “making plain sense” department. The narrative is positively baffling, the use of live-action in the middle is totally out of place, and we didn’t need to actually see Shinji polishing his nob to know he’s f**ked up! Plus, the whole deal with who had what agenda was a huge headscratcher, as to whether SEELE is using Gendo or the other way around just gets tiring after the initial assault on NERV. The main draw of the film is to see the saga coming to a close, at least the original version. If the first one was more coherent though then they probably wouldn’t have needed to do the new Evangelion film series.

MISC. MANGA, *Victory

Back in the late 90s-early 2000s, there was a nearly unlimited supply of anime/manga-styled American comics, even though most otaky preferred the "real manga" from Japan. One series however was a little more eyecatching then some of the others, and the fact that their covers usually had a bikini-clad redheaded elf babe(of which there were always variant covers to)helped out alot in the sales. This was originally an Brazillian-based comic that was brought over to America and printed through Image Comics, and managed to last about two 4-issue mini-series.

A group of teen RPGers after getting kicked out the mall and go their friend "The Druid's" house to play in peace. The team gamemaster Flavius happens upon an ancient book in the Druid's library which accidently summons up some demons that slay the Druid, and threaten to off the kids. Fortunately, the buxom half-goddess/half-elf Victoria also gets released from the magical world of the book and vanquishes the monsters. She proclaims Flavius to be her new "master", and that she will stay with him forever. But a giant Cthulu monster is also summoned from underneath the ocean, and is going to do some serious Unicron-levels of devastasion to the Earth unless Victoria can stop him. Victoria sets out in an epic battle with this moon-sized menace, and it looks like she sacrifices herself to save the world, but she turns up alive at the end, and since Flavius is her master, she becomes his new roommate(even though they never say how his parent feel about it!).

The second series begins with two friends of Flavius coming upon Victoria's book where she came from, and are lured into it by the last living god from that realm, Elrophen, the god of vanity. He tricks them into joining him in an attempt to get revenge on Victoria and Flavius head into the world of the book to stop Elrophen and free his friends. But instead of fully defeating Elrophen, they unknowingly open the door for him to enter our world.

This series was actually a spinoff of another comic from Brazil called Dungeon Crawlers, which was on its own tied to an earlier series titled Holy Avenger. Only the two Victory series are available in English though. Creator, Marcelo Cassaro, might be familiar to some as the writer from the Street Fighter II comic book that was released in the U.S. through Malibu Comics, but he's improved alot since then as his stories are more fantasy-focused. Also, artist Eduardo Francisco has some impressive style here, and you should check out his other works in some of the Fathom and Executive Assistant comics. Victory is only available out here in seperate issues, and has so far never been released in trade paperback form, but you should totally check out this comic where you can!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 4: Page 3

Story by Jer Alford, art by E. Aedo.

MISC. MANGA, *Dominion

From Masumune Shirow(creator of Appleseed)comes this special “filler” story to the original Dominion: Tank Police OVA series. This manga happens inbetween the two parts of the anime, namely Episodes 2 & 3.

Here, it is the not too far off future where Earth is covered by a bacteria cloud that forces everyone to wear gas masks while outdoors. In this hostile enviroment, crimes are commonplace, and to fight this is the Tank Police. They’re your average special forces task squad that patrol the streets in large tanks. Except one tank in particular is custom-made and compact, Bonaparte. This is piloted by the tomboy Leona and her would be boyfriend Al. They usually have their hands full with the criminal/activist cyborg Buaka and his catgirl playmates: Annapuma and Unapuma. Their capturing of the synthetic lifeform, Greenpeace, may be the only hope humanity has of lifting the bacteria cloud. But Buaka plans on heading for outer space to live life on a new colony.

Can Leona and her squad stop them? Will the chief ever stop yelling “Brenten!”? Check out Shirow’s masterful work in action to find out. P.S. This little baby is actually a prelude into the Ghost In The Shell manga. No kidding!

Monday, July 23, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Seraphic Feather

Former artist for for the manga Countdown tones down his ecchi for a whole lot of cheesecake in this smooth sci-fi manga.

In a slight mixing between Totall Recall and the anime Bounty Dog, this story takes place in the future where humanity has colonized the moon. There, they have discovered the remains of an ancient living alien starship that has some connection to three mysterious stones recently found on Earth named Emblem Seeds. The young Sunao goes to the moon to visit the grave of his deceased childhood friend, but ends up being stuck there after running out of money. So now he does odd jobs to try to earn enough to get home. While at the same time Sunao realizes he has gained what is called “meta-talents” which give him slightly psychic abilities. This ties into the group who has found the alien craft, and their leader Apep has harnessed its powers and wishes to use them to gain ultimate knowledge. He has requested that the Emblem Seeds from Earth be brought to the moon for study. The Seeds are being delivered by a girl who bares a strong resemblence to Sunao’s departed friend who also has psychic powers.

Seraphic Feather has alot going for it with a compelling plot and fine character development. Not to mention some SERIOUS fan service! Read it!

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 4: Page 2

Story by Jer Alford, art by E. Aedo.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Ghost In The Shell


This is without a doubt Masumune Shirow’s greatest manga work. By now, most you all should have seen the anime movie or TV series, but the manga is even better. (Note to all fanboy wannabes: the comic is always better than the movie it’s based on!)

Set in Tokyo during the mid-21st Century, a special branch of government security codenamed Section 9 helps protect against outside terrorists and foreign crimimals. Their special cybernetic agent, Major Matoko Kusinagi, and her crew patrol around in their special spider-like Fujikoma robot-mechs. Each has the ability to shield them selves in thermoptics that are transparent coverings that make them look invisible. Matoko takes on various cases dealing with “ghost-hacking” which is where people have their cyborg brains violated and reprogrammed to do crimes. One of the most ellusive of these ghost-hackers is the mysterious Puppeteer. Finally, the Puppeteer is caught, but he turns out to be a lifeform that emerged into existence inside the internet itself. After downloading himself into a cyborg body, he is captured by the government. However, it looks like he has been deleted once in for all in an attempt to escape. Matolo then gets charged with manslaughter after botching an assignment. She’s to be sent to prision, but fakes her own death in a kidnapping ruse. Her partner tries to fix her up with a new body, whilst the Puppeteer show up not dead but just sunk back into the net. He convinces Matoko to merge her cybernetic mind with his to form one combined persona. Matoko agrees, and the result is someone with all of Matoko’s memories and the Puppeteer’s abilities.

This is a lead-in to the Ghost In The Shell 2 manga, also available in English by Dark Horse Comics. Truly, this futuristic sci-fi is the pinnacle of cyberpunk comics and intense action. You must own this!

ANI-MOVIES, *Flash Gordon The Greatest Adventure Of All


After the success of their late 70s Saturday morning cartoon series of The Adventures Of Flash Gordon, and the killer Dino De Laurentis live-action movie was made, Filmation went back and redid the classic space hero with this full-length animated TV movie. It took the story back to the Golden Age in an attempt to recapture the pulp feel of Warlords Of Mars. It was actually written and directed by former Star Trek show writer, Samuel Peeples, and premiered in 1982. The crappy part is that even though the original series is on DVD, this movie isn’t.

The story starts out in WWII, and Flash Gordon is an athlete/government agent flying on route to the brilliant Dr. Zarkov, but his plane is attacked by meteors! So, he and female reporter Dale Arden parachute away to safety, and remarkably end up in Zarkov’s personal underground rocket base. They blast off for the planet Mongo which Zarkov claims is attacking Earth, but they get attacked by space raiders. Once on Mongo, they’re captured by cavemen in a lengthy sequence that becomes slightly unnecessary in the long run. They escape, but are captured the luscious Princess Aura who is the daughter of the evil Ming The Merciless, the ruler of Mongo. With the Lion Man, Thunn, they are brought before Ming who enslaves Dale, and sends Flash and Thunn to the prision mine to get eated by lizard women. Aura comes down to convince Flash into being her boytoy(what guy wouldn’t!), instead he and Thunn make off with her through the mines into the forest of Aboria, where they are confronted by Prince Barin and his band of merry Robin Hood ripoffs. They are all abucted by the warrior Hawkmen(DC Comics, beware!), and the boisterous King Vultan. All four heroes form an alliance against Ming, and then launch an assault on Ming’s pad. Ming is revealed to be in league with Hitler, and after a duel with Flash, a freakin’ robot! But the “real” Ming flees, leaving Flash to turn the approaching Mongo away from Earth, thus stranding our heroes on a planet with exotic bikini-clad slavegirls! “Boo-freakin’-hoo!”

In traditional Filmation fashion, they reused a number of their original footage, mostly from the Flash Gordon TV series, although here it was given some fine tuning, like adding shadows and more rotoscope-style shots. The movie was created at the same time at the TV series, but didn’t air until two years after the series ended. If you wanna see probably the most faithful adaptations of Flash Gordon without the awesome Queen music, then track down this hard to find gem for some great serial sci-fi thrills!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Marvel Mangaverse


Marvel Mangaverse was originally a collection of one-shot specials showing an alternative anime-styled version of the Marvel Universe. These 8 issues paved the way for the Marvel Mangaverse comic book series, as well as Spider Man: Legend Of The Spider Clan and X-Men: Ronin.

It starts off with the Mangaverse version of the Avengers lead by Irongirl testing a new technology that attracts the attention of the criminal orginization Hydra and the rebellious forces of the underwater nation of Atlantis lead by Prince Namor. This causes the arrivial of the gigantic Godzilla-like Hulk to go on a rampage in New York. The Avengers assemble their giant robot, Iron Man, to stop it, while keeping it out of the clutches of the evil mutant, Apocalypse. Then, the meta-altered Fantastic Four tangles with the interdimensional menace, Annihilus. Ghost Rider roles in next to try and take the monsterous Hulk on his own. A Kabuki version of Punisher is introdueced next. Plus, Spider Man is redone as a ninja kid. The X-Men lead by Storm bring up the rear. Finally, all the heroes combine their efforts along with Dr. Strange and a very anime catgirl version of Tigra to stop The Hulk, Hydra, and Namor to save the world. But thanks to the hammer of Thor, the day is saved, but only at the cost of two of Marvel’s greatest heroes(who never would’ve ended up together like THAT in the regular comics!).

Definately check the collected graphic novel out! It features the talents of Ben Dunn, Lea Hernandez, Adam Warren, and Udon Studios. A must for anime and comic book fans!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 4: Page 1

Story by Jer Alford. Art by E. Aedo.

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Babel II


Following the manga from Metsuteru Yokoyama(the creator of Gigantor), Babel II is not a sequal to something. The “II” indicates the main character is Babel the 2nd.

Koichi is a seemingly normal young man who keeps getting dreams about a tall tower in the desert. It turns out to be the very Tower of Babel from the Bible. He is saught out by Juju, a beautiful pink-haired psychic who tries to recruit him for her group of revolutionary psychics lead by the maniacal Magnus. Koichi decides to use the special powers that awaken in him to help defend humanity from this band of superhuman revolutionaries. With his comrades, the shapechanging panther, a giant robot, and a Rodan clone, he might just win. Adopting the new name of Babel II, Koichi tries to assist a group of authorities with bringing down Magnus’ plans for world domination.

Many characters from this series were later reused for the Giant Robo anime which was an almagamation of several of Yokoyama’s titles, where Babel II is actually the secret main bad guy who only appears at the very end of the series. Babel II: Perfect Collection has all 4 episodes of the original OVA series as released through Streamline Pictures which is now owned by Image Entertainment. This is not the TV series however, Babel II: Beyond Infinity. People sometimes confuse this with the remake. But still the animation is fair and has lots of super action for your generic X-Men fan!

ANI-MOVIES, *Superman: Doomsday


Starting off their ongoing series of made-for-video features for DC Universe, Warner Premiere decided to go with a darker chapter from the Man Of Steel’s history that was mostly overlooked in any of his previous animated adaptations. Based on the Death Of Superman, Funeral For A Friend, and Reign Of The Supermen story arcs from the various comic books, this was directed by previous DC superhero animation writer Bruce Timm, along with Batman: The Animated Series writer Duane Capizzi. Even though it was done as its own movie, it shadows some story elements from Superman: The Animated Series.

This takes place during a time when Lex Luthor is still in charge of Lexcorp, and Superman has recently been dating Lois, although he hasn’t told her his secret identity yet, despite her suspicions. While digging underground for a new power source, Luthor’s crew discovers an ancient spacepod housing a hulking alien monster. The creature(Doomsday)goes on a rampage through Metropolis, and Supes enages with him in a slugfest the likes of which Goku wouldn’t have survived. Their clash knocks over building after building, which suprisingly no one was in at the time, but ultimately both the super-strong aliens die from the fight. Superman is buried in an elaborately huge memorial in the middle of Metropolis park, although apparently all the JLA members were too busy trying to get their own DC Universe movies made to bother to showing up at his funeral. Lois is bereaved, and goes to Martha Kent in Smallville for someone to talk to. Jimmy Olsen quits the Daily Planet to work for a tabloid rag, and Perry White give in to whisky. Villains on the other hand have been having a crime orgy in Metropolis, and staple crazy genius Toyman kidnaps a bus full of kids. Fortunately, they are rescued by a supposedly resurrected Superman! This revived Man of Tomorrow is really a clone created by Luthor, who now holds the corpse of the original in Lexcorp. However, Superman’s faithful robot manages to get it back with no detection, and brings him back to the Fortress of Solitude where its revealed that Superman wasn’t really dead at all, but in a biological stasis. He is revived, only to find out that his evil twin has killed Toyman, and just taken out Luthor, along with all the other soulless Superman clones. Even though he’s only at partial power, Superman puts on a solar-collecting gothic jumpsuit along with a kryptonite gun, and flies to confront Superman-B. The two of them butt heads, wrecking a good part of the freshly-regenerated city with them. Superman-A takes out Superman-B with some leftover Krytonite dust, and everyone welcomes the “real” Superman back(despite the fact that he just freakin’ killed a guy!).

This story is something that’s been adapted several times since its comic book run. In a radio drama, a novelization, and a killer video game. Although like most of them, the movie takes and leaves alot of material not used in the original. This includes Luthor’s whole rebirth thing where he actually has a full head of hair, no Supergirl, and pretty much none of the actual four Supermen who showed up after Super died. The evil clone is sorta based on the idea of the Superboy clone, but gone all bent after being abused by Luthor. Also, Lois was already married to Clark and knew his secret identity prior to Doomsday ruining their honeymoon. In most of the original DC animated continuity, Doomsday only fought the actual Superman once and got his ass kicked, but this movie managed to pull off a real all-out bout to end the doubt. The rest of the story after Superman kicks the bucket is fair, at least with everyone grieving over the loss, plus Luthor totally loosing it by beating the crap out his clone with Kryptonite gloves because he didn’t get the chance to kill Supes himself. For the first DC Universe movie, this did feature some impressive animation over that of their usual TV stock, and was totally a better movie than the crappy Superman: Brainiac Attacks debacle. The voice acting is fair too, even though it doesn’t feature any of the TV series actors. All in all, I’d recommend this for the serious Superfans, or anyone sick of waiting for Superman to have someone he can actually fight in his new movies.

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 3: Page 3


Story by Jer Alford. Art by Jenn Oseicki.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Maetel Legend


This 2-episode OVA is actually the beginning chapter to three of Leji Matsumoto’s creations: Galaxy Express 999, Queen Emeraldas, and 1000 Year Queen(which some old anime TV watchers might remember as Captain Harlock And The Queen Of 1000 Years from 1985).

We see a younger Maetel and her sister Emeraldas who live on a planet residing on the other part of the sun, slightly parallel to Earth. They are the princesses of this world called La Matelle. Their mother, the queen, has undegone the mechanization process which all the people on their planet are going over as La Matelle is slowing dying out due to inexposure from the sub causing it to become a icy wasteland. Maetel and Emeraldas fight to stop this, but their mother ultimately succumbs to her machine half, and now sets forth to turn all humanioids into machines as part of the Mechanical Empire. Emeraldas and Maetel escape on the Galaxy Express 999 which is a spacebound train that goes to all planets in the universe.

This leads into several of the other “Lejiverse” titles like Captain Harlock and Harlock Saga. As far as comparing Maetel Legend to some of the other Lejiverse titles that have been released in English like DNA Sights 999.9, the animation is very tame, and the story drags on at least 30 minutes longer than it needed to. The whole thing could have been wrapped up in one single 60 minute episode as their are alot of flashbacks and scenes with reused footage. But if your a big fan of Harlock, Emeraldas, and the other Matsumoto anime titles, you should see this one in order to know the beginning of it all.

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 3: Page 2


Story by Jer Alford. Art by Jenn Oseicki.

Friday, July 13, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Outlanders


Outlanders was a one-shot OVA that was released in 1986, based on the manga series by Johji Manabe. He also created other manga titles such as Caravan Kidd and Drakuun, plus the anime/manga Capricorn. The entire manga was previously released in America through Dark Horse Comics. The anime was first put on dubbed VHS in the mid-90s through the now defunct Dark Image Entertainment, and is now available on DVD with a totally different dub by U.S. Manga Corps. The roles of the 4 main characters were actually decided over an online poll by anime fans.

The story iis about a bikini-clad alien princess with green hair(who isn’t Lum!)named Kahm who comes to Earth in a single alien battleship to try invade it on her own. But while she’s there, she encounters a hapless young photographer called Tetsuya. She immeadiately falls for him, and kidnaps him in the hopes of marrying him and uniting her people and humanity. It turns out Kahm’s father, the Emperor, is planning on taking over Earth, so Kahm tries to stop him by announcing her “engagement” to Tetsuya. Unfortunately, her daddy don’t like it, and sentences her wouldbe-hubby to death. But, Kahm’s friends, the sexy catgirl Batia and drunk dogman Geobaldi, help free both of them and escape into space. They mostly save the Earth, although they leave room for a possible sequal.

Outlanders was one of America’s first exposure to “sexy sci-fi” anime, even before there was much hentai available out here. There is some pretty gratuitous violence in it as well, especially with Kahm’s killing spree at the beginning where she starts beheading several soldiers. But the ecchi-ness it what really makes this great grindhouse material.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Dead Leaves


This was a one-shot OVA by produced Production IG(Ghost In The Shell), and created by Gainax who did FLCL and Gurren Lagann. It was an original anime not based on any manga.

Taking place in the distant future, two amensiac fugitives find themselves in the middle of the desert. After a quick crime spree, they’re caught and sentenced to a prision on what’s left of the moon. Once there, they team up with the other inmates to do the ultimate prision break. This leads to some amazingly cartoonish fight scenes. It’s literally like a cross between Tom & Jerry and Quinton Tarentino. It leads up to a big battle, an immature pregnancy, and lots of explosions and violence.

A censored version of Dead Leaves has been featured on Sci-Fi Channel’s Ani-Monday, and a few other cable TV showings. It’s a great sci-fi anime with quirky character designs, over-the-top action, and some serious reality-challenging physics!

JESI THE GENIE, *Part 3: Page 1


Story by Jer Alford. Art by Jenn Oseicki.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Bounty Dog

Anime’s answer to Total Recall?

In the not to distant future, mankind colonizes the moon. However, one of the main companies behind the huge domed cities on the moon’s surface appears to be planning on using some alien technology they’ve found to create a new weapon. A group of special infiltrators called Bounty Dogs come from Earth to investigate. One of them keeps having flashbacks about his sister dying, and is somehow linked to a bunch of evil little girl clones of her. What proceeds is a series of kickass car chases similar to Bubblegum Crisis, and action sequences with mechas designed by Ghost In The Shell’s Masamune Shirow.

This isn’t exactly the greatest 2-episode OVA ever made, but it is pretty up there if your a fan of action sci-fi. If you liked the manga Seraphic Feather, then this is right up your alley.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Ragnarok

This was a great manga, although technically not a “manga” persay since it comes from Korea. Myung-Jin Lee did a fabulous job on the art. This takes place in a sci-fi version of the Norse legends, sort of like Reign The Conqueror is a sci-fi version of Greek mythology.

The goddess Fenris has been reborn in the body of a human sorceress. She is being stalked by an ambitious Valkerie. Fenris runs into the might young warrior Chaos and his friend, the enchantress Iris. They bring her back to Iris’ city of Fayon in the kingdom of Midgard. But Fenris soon learns she has ties to Iris. Plus, the scantily-clad thief Lidia hopes to gain the favor of Chaos, and joins the others on their quest.

This series has alot of cool graphics and great design. Of course, more people are familiar with the Ragnarok Online gaming community(and its crappy anime TV series spinoff)that was based on the manga. But check out the original manga as its far better than any of the other adaptations.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie

While Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie set the standard as the pinnacle for fighting game-based anime, the crew at Capcom decided to do a completely new anime with no ties to the former. This was originally a 2-episode OVA series, but was later re-released as a single compilation movie. Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie(or The Animation)deals with a different take with Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li as they are introduced into new characters from the Alpha video games.

Ryu visits the grave of his sensei, Gouken, and Ken shows up too. They are then suprised to meet a young boy named Shun claiming to be Ryu’s long lost brother. Despite not taking a blood test, Ryu just up and accepts Shun as family, and starts training him in martial arts, even though he’s already had some experience. Ken then takes them to a Street Fighter tournament where they run into Chun-Li, an interpol agent looking for leads on the criminal orginization Shadowlaw, as well as her father. Ken is too late to enter the tournament, and ends up having to protect Ryu’s new secret stalker, the enthusiastic schoolgirl Sakura. Shun somehow gets accepted in though, and takes on the gigantic wrestler Zangief. Ryu intervenes, only to have a huge cyborg warrior show up. Ryu blows a hole in him, and begins to worry that he’s going down the same dark path as Akuma, the fighter who killed Gouken. Shun is taken by Shadowlaw, leaving Ryu to dispair even more. He plans to go after Shun, but only after he first confronts Akuma, because he believes that he might be his father. After that’s more-or-less disproven, Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li enter another Street Fighter tournament being held at a secret Shadolaw base in the middle of the desert. Instead of it being someone like Bison or Vega running this show, its a random mad scientist-type character Sadler as the main villain who has never appeared in the games. He’s using the time-honored cliche of analyzing the data of various fighters to create the “ultimate warrior”. Sadler hopes to get Ryu riled up enough that he’ll use the Dark Hadou, which is a version of the Hadokaen channeled by rage and anger. After using Shun’s body inside the shell of another cyborg, Ryu finally uses a Dark Hadou on it. This data transfers to an apparatus hooked up right into Sadler’s body which transforms him into a pumped up fighter. He and Ryu face off in one big Kamehameha showdown, which Ryu arises the victor. But Shun doesn’t survive, and reveals that he isn’t really Ryu’s brother. Ken goes back to fighting in garages, Chun-Li goes back to looking for her father, and Ryu gets into a match with Akuma, but only to have the traditional fighting movie ending with both fighters freezing in mid-air just before their about to get at it.

This was a very different animal from the previous Street Fighter anime, and focused more on that whole “why do they fight” theme used in too many fighter stories that have no plot to it. Plus, the whole concept of analyzing fighters’ data has been overused prior to this in anime like Battle Arena Toshinden, and then again in crappy adaptations like the D.O.A. live-action movie. The animation was considerably less realistic than in the original Street Fighter anime, as the characters had more disjointed features, and the fights were taken up to the Dragonball level. This was a fairly decent entry in the Street Fighter media library, certainly better than either of the live-action movies, although not without some serious faults. There was another OVA one-shot that acted as a pseudo-sequal to this titled Street Fighter Alpha: Generations where Ryu and Akuma(aka: Gouki)finally duke it out, although it doesn’t totally match up with this version as far as story is concerned.