In movies, the 2010 live action version of Space Battleship Yamato is finally coming to the US. The original Anime series, begun in 1973, changed Japanese science fiction profoundly, bringing a more complex and serious storyline than had yet been seen. It influenced and inspired many anime series to come after it, including Neon Genesis Evangelion. There have been many sequels and some animated feature films over the years, but this is the first live action version they have ever done, and I can’t wait to finally see it. Probably the strangest selection this week, Escape from Tomorrow is a comedy/horror film that takes place in a famous theme park owned by a media conglomerate. The most recent interpretation of The Legend of Hercules will also be on the shelves this time around. It is noticeably closer to the original story than the TV show was, but I really enjoyed the Keven Sarbo version. I also have to mention the Gamera Legacy Collection 1965-1999, with 11 films compiled into a single 4 disc set. I know these have all been released before, but I don’t believe you could get the majority of them in a single box. They only seem to be missing the 2006 reboot, Gamera: The Brave, which is a shame, because that would be the completest collection. The same group, Mill Creek, is also releasing them remastered in Blue Ray, breaking the set apart into a couple of boxes for that version.
In TV, Star Trek Enterprise: The Complete Series is finally being released in a Blue Ray version. It has been available since 2005 in SD, and you could get the individual seasons on Blue Ray, except for season 4, which is also coming out this week. The other show is Godzilla: The Complete Animated Series, the 1998 show meant to continue the story from the Mathew Broderick movie version. Like Enterprise and Gamera, it was previously released, just not all in one box set.
In Anime, Amazing Nuts! is a 4 tale anthology, each done in a different animation style, and each featuring a different contemporary musical artist setting up the audio track. Yes, that does mean it is essentially a collection of animated music videos. This one has been available as an import for years, but this is the first North American release I am aware of. The pieces average 15 minutes each, so it isn’t very long, but this project is a great sampler of what Studio 4C is capable of. If the name sounds familiar, perhaps you have seen some of their other projects, like the Animatrix, Tekkonkinkreet, Steamboy, or Memories, to name a few. Cuticle Detective Inaba is an artificially created half-wolf private investigator (a former werewolf police dog) out to stop the criminal segment of the half-human portion of the population of his city. Expect to laugh your ass off and enjoy the adventure, but don’t be surprised if you are groaning a bit as well, since this show is a high-density pun environment.
There are two shows being released in a S.A.V.E. edition this time around, allowing you to add them to your collection for about $20 each or less. Cat Planet Cuties has a bevy of alien Cat Girls descend on Kio’s house to use it as an embassy, quickly followed by a large assortment of female secret agents and cultists of various types. I particularly liked the tip-of-the-hat of the dog planet bad guy’s laugh, being an exact duplicate of another famous bad-guy animated dog; see if you can name the dog it came from, or at least the show he was on. Shangri-la is a story of poverty and desperation vs. wealth and technology (medical and otherwise), made even worse by the destruction of the environment. Kuniko isn’t going to stop fighting until she gets all of her people to safety in whatever way she can, and the orbital city looks like her best option.