Friday, April 29, 2011

Saint Seiya Gekijouban: Southern... Cross... Christ!

Back at the start of my Fuma no Kojiro: Yasha-hen review I mentioned that I more than likely wouldn't cover Saint Seiya in this blog, mainly because it is well-known around the world.  Well, that mainly is because the 114-episode TV series is truly well-known, and the Hades OVAs (Sanctuary, Inferno, and Elysion) are pretty recent and got a lot of talk when each of them were coming out (though it is fun to point out that Hades Sanctuary is getting close to 10 years old now).  And, naturally, the Lost Canvas OVAs are the most recent Seiya anime and have a CrunchyRoll simulcast.  But there are some Saint Seiya animes that are worth talking about here: The movies.

Theatrical movies, or gekijouban (which translates roughly as "Theatrical Edition"), based on popular manga aren't anything new, and that counts even more for Shonen Jump anime.  Naruto and One Piece, for example, have their fair share of movies (One Piece is at 10 as of this writing and I don't even bother to keep count of all the Naruto movies), and Dragon Ball has an insane 17 movies, four from the original series and a whopping 13 from DBZ (and GT has a movie as well, but I don't think it was theatrically-released).  So, naturally, Saint Seiya has a series of movies to its name, five to be exact, and most of them have kind of become forgotten as time went on.  For those who are unfamiliar with Saint Seiya, the basic idea is that there are warriors called Saints who fight for the sake of Athena, goddess of wisdom.  Saint Seiya focuses on Seiya, the bronze Pegasus saint, and his friends, who fight to protect Saori Kido, who is the present human reincarnation of Athena.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One-Pound Gospel: The Underdog of Boxing Anime

Rumiko Takahashi is one of the largest names in the manga industry.  In Japan she has had hit manga after hit manga after hit manga with Weekly Shonen Sunday by creating Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, and InuYasha, the latter two being international hits.  Not only that, but she also knows how to do great seinen manga, as indicated by the well-loved title Maison Ikkoku.  But there is another manga that she has created that, much like its main character, is kind of the underdog of her titles: One-Pound Gospel.

One-Pound Gospel was a manga that Takahashi made for Weekly Young Sunday.  The first chapter was published back in 1987 and new chapters came out irregularly until mid-1992.  After that, due to her other manga being very popular, Gospel went on multiple hiatuses with chapters coming out in 1996, 1998, and 2001.  The manga wouldn't be truly completed, though, until after InuYasha ended, with Takahashi working on Gospel straight from the end of 2006 until early 2007.  Among all of her manga, One-Pound Gospel seems to truly be the underdog since most people might be unfamiliar with it but at the same time it's a very good title in the end, much like its main character.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Legendary Anime Director Osamu Dezaki Has Died

The term "legend" can sometimes just be tossed around at random, but Osamu Dezaki is one of those people who full-heartedly deserved the title.  He was a part of the Japanese TV animation industry since the generally agreed upon beginning, which was the original Astro Boy in 1963 (Dezaki did some episode direction for it), and was still working on new titles to this day.  It's with such sadness that I have say that this true legend died just a few hours ago of lung cancer.  Considering that he was a normal smoker (hell, this well-known picture of him shows him smoking!) this is no surprise, and dying at the age of 67 isn't as shocking as that of Satoshi Kon's passing last year, but it's always a shame to lose such an influential person.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blazing Transfer Student: The Lost GAINAX OLA

If you are a real anime fan, then you're probably at least familiar with the name GAINAX...  I mean, you've heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion, right?  Or maybe Gurren Lagann?  Or even Gunbuster?  Yeah, GAINAX made every single one of those titles, plus a good few others that aren't mech-related.  They are, by far, one of the most identifiable studios in anime, which makes it interesting that I'd be talking about GAINAX on a blog that focuses on obscure anime & manga.  Well, there is a title, before Evangelion but after Gunbuster, that some might not even know was made by GAINAX.  In fact, GAINAX's own website doesn't even list this title in their "Works" page.  But it is actually, in my opinion, one of their best short works.  I'm talking about GAINAX's two-episode Blazing Transfer Student OVA...  Oh wait, it technically isn't an OVA.

Ignore the subtitling, as I simply forgot to turn to the subs off when taking the picture.

When it comes to over-the-top hot-blooded anime & manga creators, there are some people that are easily named: Go Nagai, Masami Kurumada, and even the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori, among many others.  Well, what would you say to a person who took inspiration from these very people; a man who personifies hot-blooded manhood to a ridiculous degree who even names his studio Honou (Blazing) Productions?  Well that man exists and his name is Kazuhiko Shimamoto!