Topping off the movie list, Real Steel, an excellent movie about a washed up fighter, a kid, and the robot the kid believes in. But there is another movie that excites me this week: Toki o kakeru shôjo, or in English Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. This one is the latest live action variation on the novel/manga/anime/live action/movie/TV show classic from Japan. It has been around since 1965 and they just can’t seem to get enough of it, and neither can I. This one is the 2010 live action movie version based on the novel, the previous US release was of the 2006 anime feature length film. The same actress plays the Leaper, in the anime the niece of the time traveler, in the live action the daughter. The first TV version was the 1972 live action series, which to my knowledge is currently unavailable, even in Japan.
In TV, a show I cringed at even when it was new can now be taken home for your personal collection: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Season One. While there is some camp appeal in this program, mostly in the form of its undersized robot with a speech impediment, it was pure Disco Buck. You won’t be getting any links to it from me, as I considered Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century much more intellectually stimulating. In fact, Vixens of Virtue, Vixens of Vice: Season 2, also being released this week, beats it as well, hands down.
In Anime, Our Home’s Fox Deity, parts one and two, give you the complete series with a single release, all about some rather ticked off gods and the family they have been protecting. Likewise, Pandora Hearts Sets 1 and 2 gives you the entire storyline at once, this time about a teenager who is thrown into a secret otherworldly prison at his coming of age party to pay for sins he never committed.
Also this week, The World God Only Knows complete series tells the story of a game player who is the best at Dating Sims, those games involving making all the right moves to get a virtual girl to fall in love with you. That is just fine, until he gets visited by a demon hunting angel who wants to put his gaming skill set together and point it at real live girls! It seems that the demons she is hunting hide in human hearts, and if those hearts fall in love they have no room left to harbor a demon.
There are two new series this week from Funimation. Fairy Tail – Part 3 brings us up to date on the Magic Guild warriors who continue the venerable tradition of inflicting as much or more damage onto your surroundings and the local population as the menace you have been hired to protect them from begun in shows like Dirty Pair. Their other program this week is Requiem for the Phantom – The Complete Series, which might be considered a cross between Kite and Noir, with a bit of Gunslinger Girls thrown in. Zwei has no clue who he is, and kills on command for his masters. When he meets Ein, a girl in the same situation who is as beautiful and brutal as she is lost, he decides it is time to make a change. If only it was that easy.
Viz has Naruto Shippuden (DVD box 9), and this show and Bleach both surprise me. Western TV shows always go for open-ended structures that they want to run forever, but most Asian TV is constructed with actual story arcs, which come with a beginning, a middle, and an end, usually concluded within a year or two of their beginning. I have no clue where these programs think they are going.
Finally, this week we only have a single cost effective re-release: Tenchi Muyo! GXP – The Complete Series [S.A.V.E.], 8 DVDs worth of absolute insanity for under 20 bucks. If you don’t already know Tenchi, this series is a great introduction; a bumbler who causes harm to himself and those near him (yes, sort of like Fairy Tale, or Dirty Pair, or so many more) suddenly has a number of girls from outer space descend on him. Each wants to keep him for herself, and each has powers to make her wishes known. This time around, those girls are galactic cops, and they both want to take him home. The evil galactic girls show up in other series, but trust me when I say only the labels change.