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There are a couple of live action movies coming out this week that look interesting, and I think Bunraku will beat out the competition by a noticeable amount. It had a very limited theatrical run, so for most of us this will be our first shot to see it. Stars include Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Gatck, and Ron Perlman, while the premise includes cowboys without guns and samurai without swords. The other live action selection is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a story that crosses centuries and cultural evolution to talk about friendship.

There is another film of note this week, and it is a documentary: the Magic Trip, staring Ken Keasey, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, the Warlocks (they later changed their name to the Greatful Dead), and the Merry Band of Pranksters. This is the epic journey the bus Furthur and its humans took in 1964. If you knew what it meant to be On The Bus in the sixties, you can finally see the movie they filmed during that journey a mere 48 years later. I am planning to watch it as part two of a double header, with Howl starting the lineup, therefore watching the core events that caused post WWII America to evolve into the counterculture of the 1960s in one sitting. There is also a western animated feature film, Cars 2, with an all star vocal cast from Disney.

Only one TV series that ran nationally in North America found this week, Transformers Beast Wars: The Complete Series. This show was rather well done, with some good quality 3D animation for its time and a story line that evolved out of the original Transformers series. Personally I thought it was much better done than Transformers themselves, at least until the live action feature films came along.

In anime the primary selection is Amagami SS – Collection 2, continuing the story where all the potential futures for our protagonist are explored, each in their own parallel timeline and universe. There is no indication in what I have read if they continued the previous collection practice of having each shows primary voice actress sing the closing song, but I certainly hope so; it was a very nice touch. Also this week, Gakuen Alice – Complete Collection has schoolgirl friends transferring to a school where explosions, superpowers, and axe-wielding teddy bears are all part of the daily events.