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Stâshippu operêtâzu (2005)
Excellent sci-fi anime
The 73rd class of cadets of the Defense University of the planet Kibi is out on a training voyage in the battle ship Amaterasu are heading home when they see on the news the Kingdom of Henrietta has invaded and taken over Kibi. The cadets, led by Cisca Kanzaki, Shinto Kouzuki, Rio Mamiya, Takai Kiryu and Shinto Mikami decide to wage a one-ship war against the kingdom, despite overwhelming odds. For supplies and funding the cadets contact the Galaxy News Network and agree to have a reporter, Dita Mircov, join the crew and provide the show with real life action packed space battles against the Kingdom. The show's producer Peter Spikes cares first and foremost about ratings, and little about the crew's lives. Soon after the first battle Kibi's former prime minister Tatsuma Mamiya, Rio's uncle, joins them as well so the ship and it's crew can be declared a nation in exile. The seemingly hopeless war against the kingdom begins...
The story, animation and characters are all fantastic, just what you'd expect from any worthwhile anime these days. If you like watching anime in English and you've seen INUYASHA, you'll notice a few familiar voices. There's Kelly Sheridan (Sango from INUYASHA) as Sinon, Kirby Morrow (Miroku from INUYASHA) as Takai and Paul Dobson (Myoga and Naraku from INUYASHA) as Peter Spikes.
Also the characters here are serious and intelligent, there are no ditsy, child-like characters in this show. If you're a fan of anime and/or space opera, check this one out.
Megami Tengoku (1995)
The story is set in a world populated entirely by beautiful goddesses. It is watched over by a head Mother Goddess, and is kept pure by a special gem known as the Astrostar. When the current mother goddess prepares to retire and chooses a successor, the new mother goddess picks a girl to be a shrine maiden to act as a guard for the mother goddess and the Astrostar. The girl, Lilith, must now find other goddesses to be fellow shrine maidens. Lilith asks one girl, Stasia, who plays the harp, if she wants to be a maiden, but Stasia's not interested. Then Lilith meets Rurubell, a young goddess who wants to be a maiden, but Lilith doesn't think she has what it takes and is reluctant to take her, but Rurubell insists on tagging along. Then Lilith tries to recruit Juliana, a fierce swords woman. However, there exists an alternate plane ruled by an evil dark goddess and her followers, who want to take over the realm of the good goddesses. They send Maharaja, another harp player who has the power to take control of people, Angela, a dark goddess with a staff and elf ears who can summon monsters, Rouge, another swords woman who can also throw energy balls, and Pastel, direct messenger to the dark mother goddess. They attack and knock out several of the good goddesses, and soon it looks as if Lilith and Rurubell are the culprits. Now they must clear their names and defeat the dark goddesses.
In episode 2, as the new mother goddess is having her coronation, the bad guys return and kidnap Lilith and steal the Astrostar. Stasia and Juliana go out to rescue her and get the Astrostar back, insisting the Rurubell stay behind. All of Megami Paradise hangs in the balance.
I'd really love to see this one to get a DVD release. And though it may be hoping for too much, it'd be even better if they made a dub for it, like they did for the original ALL PURPOSE CULTURAL CAT GIRL NUKU NUKU video series.
Grey: Dijitaru tâgetto (1986)
I really wish they'd give this a DVD release
GREY: DIGITAL TARGET is set in a future a few centuries from now, when the world is a wasteland ruled by a super computer. Humans live poverty-stricken lives in towns. The only chance for a better life is to become a trooper and then earn points by killing troopers from other towns and completing enough missions to eventually become a citizen and then be taken to the city where all citizens live lives of luxury. The only thing is, of all the people who become troopers, only %3 live to achieve their ultimate goal. Grey is a trooper who has gained legendary status by killing an especially large number of enemies and climbed through the ranks at an especially fast rate, and has earned the nickname "Grey Death". When Grey learns that his old friend and mentor Red, the man who taught Grey how to survive, was attacked and captured while out in the field, Grey violates orders and steals a plane from his own town and, along with female trooper Nova, the only other one to survive Grey's last mission, he goes out on a personal mission to bring back Red.
Based on a manga, I like the anime better for one reason, that one character who dies halfway through the manga lives in the anime. It made the story more interesting to me. I would really love to see this get a DVD release some day.
Makai senki disgaea (2006)
Don't worry, this show is complete!
This is one of the last shows to be released by Geneon, the anime company that recently went bankrupt. For anyone wondering if this is one of those shows that got dropped in the middle (like KARIN,) fear not: this show is in fact meant to be exactly 3 disks long, all the episodes of the show are here.
The story: Flonne is an angel-in-training sent down from Celestia (Heaven) to the Netherworld (Hell) to assassinate the demon overlord. As the show begins, she finds a coffin with the young demon prince Laharl inside, who wakes soon after it's opened. It turns out his father the demon overlord is already dead. None too bothered by that, Laharl sets out to reclaim his throne. Flonne tags along, determined to teach Laharl the value of love. Soon they are joined by Etna, a female demon who commands an army of prennies (lost souls who resemble penguins.) It turns out a ten million bounty has been placed on Laharl's head, and now all sorts of demons are after him. The trio must also deal with a group from Earth who've arrived in their dimension-traveling ship: a man (the heroic and dramatic but brainless type,) a woman (a scantly-clad vixen,) and their robot.
I had a great time watching this series. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves fantasy-adventure-comedy anime.
Tales of the Third Dimension (1984)
Horror anthology 3-D style
This is one of six 3-D films released in the 1980s by a man named Earl Owensby. They're all very fun movies, but also very hard to find. All but one are VHS-only films. Your best bet of finding them (assuming you haven't thrown out your VCR,) is to go to the website www.earlowensby.com and buy them online. The films are:
CHAIN GANG (1984) HIT THE ROAD RUNNING DOGS OF HELL HYPERSPACE*
*This is the only film in the group that has been released on DVD.
(There is also another 3-D film Owensby released called HOT HEIR a.k.a. THE GREAT BALLOON CHASE, however it's not available for purchasing.)
This anthology horror/comedy film is presented to us in a cemetery at night by a living, rotting corpse who calls himself Igor and speaks from his open grave. He is also accompanied by some talking vultures who are modeled after the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. The three stories are:
Two people who work at an adoption center, Dudley and Ms. Markette, are called over to a mansion at night near a graveyard by a couple who call themselves the count and countess. They speak with Transylvanian accents, and the Count wears a red and black cape. Dudley doesn't like the looks of them, but Ms. Markette finds it somehow impossible to refuse their requests to adopt a child, especially when the count gazes directly into her eyes. Soon the vampire couple have gotten custody of a young boy. What the two vampires don't know is he's an even more terrifying monster than they are...
In the second story, two men, Charlie and Freddy, meet with a gravedigger, Nigel, seemingly friendly. In fact they are using Nigel to get info on where and when someone rich has died and taken some valuable jewels to the grave with them. Later in the night they go dig up the grave and steal the jewels. Then Charlie gets a plan for a really big score. He's heard of some underground catacombs where there's supposed to be lots of valuables hidden underneath. The two go re-visit Nigel, and Charlie is able to force Nigel to tell them where the entrance is. What neither of the two grave robbers know is the underground tomb contains some deadly surprises...
In the last story, two young children, Dennis and Suzie, are sent to spend the holidays with their grandmother while their parents go on vacation in Hawaii. What no one else knows is grandma needs to be on medication to stay sane, otherwise she goes dangerously crazy...and she's almost run out of pills.
If you like horror mixed with broad comedy, this is a great film to watch. Again, though, the previously-mentioned website may be the only place now to get it, and you'll need a VCR.
Hit the Road Running (1983)
A hidden gem.
This is one of six films that was released in the early 1980s by Earl Owensby in 3-D. The others were:
HOT HEIR (a.k.a. THE GREAT BALLOON CHASE) CHAIN GANG (1984) TALES OF THE THIRD DIMENSION DOGS OF HELL HYPERSPACE.
Other than HYPERSPACE, none of these films were ever released on DVD, so unless you still have a VCR, that's the only one you'll be able to see. These are extremely hard to find movies. Your best bet if you want to see them are to go to the website (www.earlowensby.com) and buy them online. (HOT HEIR wasn't available, at least when I visited the site, and it's the one film out of that group that I still haven't seen.
As for this movie, it was clearly inspired by the popular T.V. show DUKES OF HAZZARD. It has many country western-style songs that play throughout, and the singer acts as a narrator. It tells the story of Beau Jim Donner (Beau is pronounced "Bo", F.Y.I.) who after years of traveling the world returns to his rural home town in Indean Head County. The town is now under the thumb of wealthy tyrant Sam Grady, who holds morgages on everyone's lands and keeps people in debt to him. He uses intimidation and thuggish tactics to take over independent businesses. When Jim's uncle Rusty refused to sell out, Sam had him crippled and confined to a wheelchair. The law isn't much of a problem since Sam's had the town's own sheriff, Little Leon, personally appointed. After coming home and seeing what's happened, Jim becomes a deputy and then secretly works behind the scenes to sabotage Sam's plans, such as intercepting a truck that Sam's had hijacked, and then calling the State Police. The mysterious, unidentified Robin Hood has become a local folk hero, and the radio D.J. Freighttrain Fremont has high praise for him. Jim lives at home with Rusty and Jim's friend Fred T., and Jim often quotes words of wisdom he's heard from various people while traveling the world. After six months of covertly messing up Sam's plans, Jim catches Sam speeding. A high-speed chase begins, and soon Jim has Sam pulled over for refusing to pull over for the police. When Leon comes by later and sees his boss in a jail cell, he lets Sam out, and Sam is now ready to go after Jim. Jim, at the urging of Rusty, leaves town with his friend Fred T. tagging along, and Sam sends Leon and his deputy Hector Jones after them. Sam's main thug Monty also goes out on his own to try to get Jim. From this point on the film becomes a series of car chases and near misses as Jim manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. Eventually after a few narrow escapes Fred T. decides a life of danger isn't for him and he gets on a bus and goes back to town while Jim goes on alone.
This film has a great deal of humor and exciting car chases. If you're a DUKES OF HAZZARD fan, you'll love this. If you haven't thrown out your VCR, I recommend visiting the earlowensby site and buying this film, unless there's a video store that specialized in hard-to-find films that's close to you that has it.
Inuyasha: Ôgi ranbu (2005)
A remake of "InuYasha: A Feudal Fairytale"
The second InuYasha fighting video game to come out in the U.S., in many ways it is a big improvement over the first, "InuYasha: A Feudal Fairytale" for the original Playstation, but in at least one way it's a major downside. I'll be going over the similarities and differences between the two games.
The first InuYasha game used the original Japanese voice actors to do the characters. This one uses the American ones. I'm a fan of the dub, so for me this was a big step up (although the Japanese voice actors do a great job, I'm just used to the U.S. dub), however purists will understandably be irked by this.
The graphics are undoubtedly a great improvement. The first game had a 2-D background (like most fighting games,) where you could only move your characters forward and backward, but not all over the map. That's changed here.
Both games have a "story mode" and a "vs. mode" where you select one or two characters and battle in a single match against a friend or the computer.
The first game had three mini-games which were in the story mode and you could access from Kagome's backpack after beating the game as her. Those games aren't found here, however there is an alternate "mission mode" where you pick a character to play as and a partner, and then select one of several areas on a map, each area has three progressively harder missions. Some are INSANELY tough, such as where your partner is one hit away from dying and you must protect him/her from the enemy, who has full health.
The story mode is pretty cool, however it's a let-down in that I could only unlock four games! (InuYasha's chapter, Miroku and Sango's, Sesshomaru's, and Shippo's) This is a major downside from the first game, which had eleven different stories, one for each playable character. Each story itself is fun, though, with the dialogue scenes before and after each match played out with moving animation (the dialogue scenes in the first game were just still images of the characters with dialogue spoken and shown in text). Also the enemies you fought in the first game in the story mode would be selected randomly by the computer, for example when fighting as InuYasha in one game you may have to fight Koga and in another game you might fight with him against Kagura. In this game each character's story is the same anytime you play.
To summarize, this is in most ways an improvement of the first game, but it really needed more stories.
Why are two completely different shows listed as one on this site?
First, it should be noted that these are in fact two different series, but for some reason IMDb has them listed on as one. They're both based on manga stories by the same person, Rumiko Takahashi, and they're both released by Geneon and thus feature many of the same English dub voice actors (I don't know about the Japanese ones,) but that's about where the similarities end. There is the "MERMAID FORREST" T.V. series, which is one (fairly) long-running series that tells an ongoing story. (Although both the Mermaid manga and the anime leave a few loose ends hanging that never get resolved, for example that little immortal boy never gets killed, the one thing that left me dissatisfied with it.) Then there is "RUMIKO TAKAHASHI ANTHOLOGY", which is a series of self-contained stories, each containing it's own situation and set of characters.
Even the tone of the two shows is very different. The Mermaid series is another fantasy by Takahashi (though a much darker one,) while the stories in "Anthology" tend to be more realistic, with a few exceptions. (For example, one story has an actual "gremlin" which only one woman can see.) More importantly, though, "Mermaid Forrest" is a horror story (and often times a pretty graphic one,) while the stories in "Anthology" are much more light-hearted, though they do sometimes venture into the realm of suspense. (In one story a woman begins to suspect her next-door-neighbor may have murdered her mother-in-law, while in another tale a girl becomes afraid that her family's latest outing is in fact a planned suicide.) Each show is well-worth seeing (though again Mermaid Forrest does leave you feeling like you haven't seen the complete ending,) however it must be stressed that again they are in fact two different shows. Trying to lump them together is like trying to take two different shows like "Tales From The Crypt" and "The Cosbys" and then trying to say they're both the same show.
A game any Inu-Yasha fan should own.
This is one of 4 Inu-Yasha video games available (counting the online game, which can be reached at the adultswim website).
As for this game, however, it's for the original Playstation. It can't be found on amazon website, which is a shame, because it's a lot of fun to play.
You can adjust the game between 5 levels of difficulty, which affects how well the computer-controlled opponents fight you. You can also adjust how long fights are; you can have each round have a time limit of 30, 60 or 90 seconds, or no time limit, where each round only ends when one or both fighters have been knocked out, and whether you want each match to be best 2-out-of-3 rounds, best 3-out-of-5 rounds, or for each match to be just 1 round.
There are 3 types of games you can play. One is the Vs. Fairytale mode, where you play 1 match as 1 of the characters against another character who is played either by the computer or by another player, and Dream Fairytale, where you select 2 characters and have them fight against 2 other characters in tag-team mode. You can play the Dream Fairytale game either with just you against the computer, with a friend against the computer, or you can play against your friend with each of you controlling 2 characters.
Then there is the 1-player-only Feudal Fairytale mode where you take control of one of the characters (in the beginning you can only play as Inu-Yasha or Kagome, but as you beat the game you can unlock and play as the other characters) and you find yourself on a map of the area. You send your character to different points on the map and must defeat the other characters. There is a dialogue exchange between the characters before and after every match. You must win 5 battles (sometimes you must fight against 2 characters by yourself, sometimes you get to join another character in fighting a lone opponent,) and after winning all the fights the barrier around Naraku's castle falls and you must enter and defeat Naraku. The other characters you battle (the exact ones you fight against in each game are selected randomly by the computer,) are: Shippo, Miroku, Sango, Koga, Sesshomaru, Kagura and Kikyo. These are the characters you can unlock and play as later on, including Naraku. (You can also play against Kagome when playing as Inu-Yasha, or against Inu-Yasha when playing as Kagome.) There are also 2 mini-games in each level that you can play, however these are optional, and you must play them BEFORE fighting all 5 regular matches if you want to play them at all; any mini-games that are left over disappear when Naraku's barrier falls. You have one chance to play each mini-game per game, but you don't have to beat them to advance; win or lose, after the mini-game's over you move on. You must also collect a certain number of jewel shards in each game when playing as each character. You can collect shards by playing and beating the mini-games, and some characters have between one and four shards which you can collect. (Each character have a certain move that makes other characters drop shards if they are carrying any.)
More on the mini-games: there are 3 types. Each mini-game has a time limit, and depending on how well you do you can get anywhere from 1 to 3 shards, or none if you do really badly. The mini-games are: Myoga has found a huge rock and says shards are in it. You must smash open the rock within 30 seconds to get the shards. Then there is one where Jaken has gotten 3 shards that he plans to take to Sesshomaru. You must try to get them from him, however he has his flame-shooting staff with him and you must slash your way through the flames before you can get to him. You have 60 seconds to do this. How many shards you get depends on how much time you have left when you beat Jaken. Fail to get through his defenses before your time is up and you get no shards at all. In both theses games a poison insect periodically flies across the screen, and if it hits you it stuns you for a moment. You must try to hit it before that happens. The final mini-game is where a whole swarm of poison insects fly across the screen, and you must swat 45 within 60 seconds. How many shards you get depends on how many insects you hit. Swat all 45 to get all three shards. In all 3 mini-games at certain points a character in peril will appear being carried by an insect. Fail to rescue the character and you lose 5 seconds.
There is also an eleventh character you can play as. Unlock and beat the game as all 10 of the other characters, and when playing as Kikyo and Naraku (the last 2 to become available,) collect as many shards as you can when playing as each one of them. Then sit and watch the end credit sequence. Afterwards you get a special message screen from Myoga telling you how to unlock the special hidden character Totosai. Complete the required goals and Totosai becomes available. You can fight against him as any of the other characters in any of the game modes, or you can play as Totosai. Play as him in Feudal Fairytale mode and get the required number of jewel shards, and you unlock Full-Demon Inu-Yasha. Now you can fight against Full-Demon Inu-Yasha as any of the other characters in Vs, Dream or Feudal Fairytale mode. (You can't fight against Full-Demon Inu-Yasha when playing as regular Inu-Yasha in Feudal Fairytale mode, but you can in Vs. or Dream Fairytale mode.) You also can't fight AS Full-Demon Inu-Yasha in Feudal Fairytale mode, but you can in Vs. and Dream Fairytale mode.
Rumik World: Faiyâ torippâ (1986)
Rumiko Takahashi's precursor to INU-YASHA
As someone else stated, this is clearly the shorter, rough draft for INU-YASHA, a story about a modern, Japanese high school girl who is transported back in time to the futile era and meets and befriends a young, rough-around-the-edges warrior.
Based on a short manga story of the same name (which can be found in one of the "Rumik World" short manga story collection books,) it tells the story of Suzu, the afore-mentioned modern high-school girl who is walking home with neighborhood elementary school boy Shuhe (pronounced,"Shoe"). They pass by a gas plant, when suddenly there is a leak and the building explodes. Somehow, instead of being obliterated, Suzu is transported back in time to Japan's medieval period! She is attacked by bandits with evil intentions, but luckily before they can do anything a young warrior, Shukumaru, comes with his friends and kills the assailants. He takes Suzu back to his village, where Suzu meets among others a little girl, Suhu, who is Shukumaru's younger sister. He gives his sister a bell that is just like the one Suzu had. Over the next few days Suzu develops an uneasy friendship with Shukumaru (think the kind of relationships that are typical for Takahashi stories, where at times she can't stand him and at times she finds herself liking him quite a bit.) But then Suzu finds a set of Shuhe's clothes in the village. It seems that he too was transported back in time! Suzu wants to look for him, but there is an impending problem in that more of the bandits are expected to attack the village soon, and even if she survives, will Suzu ever be able to return home...? Even as short as it is, (and the animation is clearly of the older "early-to-mid 1980's" Japanese animation,) the story is a beautiful one, and you really get attached to the characters and come to care about them. It's no wonder to me that Takahashi decided to return to and expand on this idea with INU-YASHA. Sadly, although FIRE TRIPPER was indeed dubbed (and subtitled) into English and released on VHS in the U.S., it apparently fell under the radar, and now is nearly impossible to get ahold of. I can only hope that some day, preferably before long, it gets released on DVD. This has happened to such hidden gems as ROCK & RULE, CHOPPING MALL, FIRE & ICE, CHEERLEADER CAMP and DATE WITH AN ANGEL, so I suppose it's always possible.