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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Daisuki Deluge: Underlooked Animes That Deserve The Chance Part 5: Nihon Ad Systems


We've finally made it...  It's the end of "The Daisuki Deluge"!  This series of posts easily took a month that was lacking in posts & turned it into one of the busiest months for the blog since my first two months.  Anyway, last on the chopping block is NAS, which is short for Nihon Ad Systems (the "Ad" itself is short for "Animation Development").  Much like Aniplex, until 2005, they don't do animation themselves, but they are involved in the production of titles, & therefore they have the main rights over some anime.  Overall, NAS doesn't have a big list of titles in general, though there are some noticeable ones like Kuroko's Basketball, Ginga e Kickoff!! (i.e. the sports anime from Spring 2012 that CrunchyRoll didn't pick up), Crayon Shin-chan, Akazukin Cha Cha, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Medarot (a.k.a. Medabots), Full Moon wo Sagashite, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Series, Bomberman Jetters, cultural icon Doraemon, & even non-anime titles like Kamen Rider Wizard...  But, naturally, none of those titles were listed on the surveys!  Instead, NAS listed exactly five titles on the surveys (not even six!) so unlike the other companies I covered, where I chose the titles that personally interested me, I'll instead just be covering all the titles NAS is (presently) willing to offer to Daisuki at some point or another.

WARNING: NAS uses really small images!



All around the world Captain Tsubasa is a beloved soccer series, inspiring actual people to become professional players, some of which have gone on to play in the World Cup.  Unfortunately, the United States & Canada are weirdos who don't like soccer as much, so therefore we have never received any bit of this series...  Ever.  This could change, though, if Daisuki starts streaming Captain Tsubasa J, the 1994-1995 continuation of the original anime adaptation of Yoichi Takahashi's still-running Jump classic.  What's that?  Why is only the second series available?  Well, for those who have been reading this blog since the very beginning I looked at the titles that Enoki Films USA has the "master rights" to early on, & that included the original 1983-1986 TV series as well as the 2001-2002 reboot/sequel series, so NAS doesn't have access to them.  For that matter, either Daisuki or Anime Sols should try getting into contact with Mr. Yoshi Enoki, because Enoki Films has a big catalog of titles (both old & recent) that could use some recognition.  Anyway, CTJ apparently recaps what had happened in the original TV series, so it should be mostly newbie-friendly & it would be cool to see such an inspirational franchise finally be available in North America in some form.


Well, we may not be getting any Doraemon onto Daisuki, but NAS is at least still willing to offer a Fujiko F. Fujio title: 1988-1996's Kiteretsu Daihyakka.  Translating into "Kiteretsu Encyclopedia", the series honestly looks very similar to Doraemon, right down to the main character Hitoshi looking like Nobita, but (if anything) this series probably treats its main character in a nicer way, since Hitoshi seems to have a girlfriend at the very least.  Also, instead of a robot cat that comes from the future, this series looks to have...  A karakuri/clockwork samurai with an onion head.  Well, Fujiko F. Fujio was generally known for being weird at times with his creations.  This admittedly isn't on my radar in any way, but if Daisuki could get all 331 episodes onto the site then at least we'll know that Daisuki would be willing to do anything for the sake of content.


Now here's a long-running anime from NAS I can get behind.  I've already reviewed the two anime movies made for this series (the 1st from 1999 & the 2nd from 2003), so I would love to watch the 1996-2004 anime TV series adaptation of Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujou, or simply Kochikame.  Debuting in 1976 in the pages of Shonen Jump & still running to this day, Kochikame is something anyone can get into at any point & find something to enjoy about it, whether it's the zany characters, the habit of poking fun at what's popular in Japan at the moment, or just watching the lengths main character Kankichi Ryotsu (that Ryo-san to you!) will go to just so he can get rich quick.  Sure, it's episodic & a comedy (though it also gets serious at times), but people love Gintama, which is essentially Kochikame mixed with a gag manga style & a highly anachronistic version of feudal Japan.  The fact that Gintama's director, Shinji Takamatsu, was also one of the episode directors of Kochikame (plus the sole director of the two movies) only pushes the similarity between the two series all the more so.  While CrunchyRoll can always be relied on for simulcasting any future episodes of Gintama that will eventually come about, Daisuki can be the streaming home for Kochikame, & I'd be perfectly fine with that.


This is the most recent series that NAS is offering, & it's one that's actually available on DVD right now via NIS America.  Natsume's Book of Friends follows the daily life of Natsume Takashi & his attempts to free the spirits who have been bound to a strange book that once belonged to his grandmother.  Debuting in 2008, Natsume is spread out across four 13-episode seasons, the most recent of which aired in 2012.  Even though it was continually simulcasted via CrunchyRoll & is available on DVD right now, I guess it doesn't hurt for another place to have access to this series.  I must admit that I didn't know anything about this series before doing this post, but now I have a slight interest in seeing it one day.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll take the plunge.


From 1983-1987 Shonen Jump had a one-of-a-kind title running in its pages in the form of Yoshihiro Takahashi's Ginga -Nagareboshi Gin-, the story of a dog & the battle between his kind and a trio of wild bears lead by the highly-dangerous Akakabuto/Red Helmet.  As odd of a concept as it is, it was successful enough to get an 1986 TV anime adaptation by Toei, which oddly was not on the surveys, where it would become insanely popular over in Scandinavian countries.  Anyway, from 2000-2009 Takahashi made a sequel for Nihon Bungeisha's Weekly Manga Goraku that ran for 60 volumes, & from 2005-2006 Ginga Densetsu Weed (or just Weed for short) had a 26-episode TV adaptation by Studio DEEN that ran on Animax.  This sequel told the story of Weed, the son of the original manga's lead Gin, & his journey to find his father & take on any wild creature that got in the way of him & his dog friends.  I've only seen a few episodes of Weed, but solely from those few episodes I could tell that this title was going to go even further with the oddness than it's predecessor.  For example, the first big enemy that Weed & the others fight is a gigantic cybernetic dog that was experimented on by a laboratory & got loose into the wild by accident, unleashing a rampage of violence in its wake!  Combine that audacity with that absolutely awesome opening theme by Douhatsuten & I would gladly love to watch Weed legally via Daisuki, and I would easily recommend everyone else to do the same!

And that's it!  The Daisuki Deluge has come to an end!  This has been an absolutely insane amount of anime to talk about, & I do hope that all of them become available with English subtitles, at the very least, on Daisuki at some point or another.  Not only would they be viewable on the site, but Daisuki has said that they hope that the newly-made subtitles & potential viewer numbers would help encourage licensors to actually license these titles that have been skipped over as time has gone on.  Also, Daisuki's rep has admitted on ANNCast that the company is considering maybe offering actual DVDs for the shows that have never had an official home video release outside of Japan.  Yeah, those surveys were essentially five giant popularity polls in order to see which titles to put priority towards in these early days of the site, but my hope is that, eventually, Daisuki will offer absolutely as much stuff as their servers can provide.  Also, I hope that the non-PC apps they are promising to get out will become available sooner rather than later...  I'm not as big on watching anime on my computer as I once was.

So Good Luck, Daisuki, & here's hoping you can offer all of the wild & crazy stuff that your parent companies are willing to make available!

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