A lot of things are being released this week, probably in the hopes you are in that holiday present shopping mood, so get ready for goodies. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a great addition to the franchise, using the Tim Powers book as its jumping off point. Attack the Block is a comedy about urban combat with aliens from the producers of Shaun of the Dead and starring Nick Frost. There are also two made-for-TV Captain America movies in a packaged set, which were attempts at pilots for this failed 1979 TV series that never got made.
In addition there are two Sci-Fi documentaries this time, and The Captains looks very good indeed. Written and directed by William Shatner, it stars everyone who ever captained the Enterprise for the franchise and a ton of your favorite actors and actresses from the series. That one is definitely coming home with me. The other was a docudrama which did not get good reviews, the made for Lifetime presentation Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story.
Surprisingly, there was only one live action TV show that I found for this week: V: The Complete Second Season. Sadly there will not be a third season, so this is the last of this one.
Western animation starts off with Shaun the Sheep: We Wish Ewe A Merry Christmas, yet another nearly wordless romp of complete silliness. Also out, Star Wars The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three brings us the next round of Star Wars tales. Finally Batman: Year One is a first class addition to the animated caped crusader collection with an all star voice cast.
Two new anime series become available this week, the first of which is all about otaku. Oreimo Complete Limited Edition DVD Box has the alternate title My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute for those who prefer English. It is a story about a little sister addicted to anime and eroge, and when her older brother discovers this by accident she gradually turns him into an ally in her fight to keep it all hidden from her parents and classmates so she can keep enjoying her hobby. She also ends up noticeably corrupting him into the ways of an otaku. This is subbed not dubbed, has all 12 episodes of the original series, the 4 episodes of the OVA, a 24 page booklet with the character designs, a set of 16 “end cards” (postcards for collectors, one for each episode) and a full poster. And with all of that, the extras on the disk are just the usual clean opening and closing segments without anything much else. That seems pretty minor until you realize that they did a different open and closing song/video for every episode, and all 32 of them are here. In other words, this is a show about otaku built the way an otaku would want to collect it! Great job, Aniplex!
The other new anime this time around is Ray: the Complete Collection, about a young woman grown to be spare parts for the wealthy. Her eyes were harvested before she was rescued by a renegade surgeon, and a decade later her synthetic eye replacements are part of the reason she is considered one of the best surgeons ever. The surgery is just a means to an end, a cover for her true mission; to rescue the other children she was raised with, and bring the organ harvesters to justice.
It has been reported that Himawari: Complete Collection is coming out this week as well, but it does not appear as available with that date on very many of the sites that sell mostly anime, and doesn’t appear on Amazon at all, while Barnes and Noble says October 25th just for season 1, so I can not put a lot of confidence into the announcement.
In the category of anime already available but being re-released in more cost effective or otherwise desirable packages we have three. First on the list is Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid – Complete Collection which makes this funny high school war zone series available for as low as $19 if you shop around. On the same day, the Hell Girl – Two Mirrors Complete Collection box set becomes available, the first time to find the entire season two storyline in a single box set. Finally, Bamboo Blade – The Complete Series [S.A.V.E. Edition] is again a very wallet friendly version coming in at less than $20 if you shop around.
Finally, a classic of Giant Mecha proportions is getting re-released in its entirety: Robotech. Old school giant robots defending humanity from alien destruction, these were several different series that were tied together by their basic premise. It is being released in a single box set with the entire series called Robotech: The Complete Original Series (catchy title, huh?) or you can pick them up separately as First Robotech War: Macross Saga at 36 episodes, Robotech: Masters Saga – Second Robotech War at 24 episodes, and Robotech: New Generation – Third Robotech War at 25 episodes.