Happy New Year!

Sorry it has been long in coming, but finally I come with warm new wishes for 2006! As everyone is making resolutions of things they individually feel a need to improve on throughout the year, I will be promising to work more on this spot here. I mostly plan on updating much more often here and even want to play around with some of the aesthetic features of the site.

At this moment as a lot of the other anime sites are finishing thier look backs at the previous year, Akihabara Renditions is looking forward with what we can expect in 2006. Also, with what seems to be a more common experience, the shift of Akihabara Renditions will be changing slightly, too. Now, Akihabara Renditions, will be trying to garner support for classic anime titles to be exported out of Japan. I know, with market saturation and the growing costs of licenses amongst the newer release titles, this is a large task; however, I think, as well as many other fans, that there are still many great older titles that are virtually untouched by the current North American licensors. Akihabara Renditions will be working harder to gather more industry opinion about this and report more on newer licenses.

At the start of the year I like to look back at the important anniversaries that will be occuring throughout the year. These are generally anniversaries on important series that have effected not only the anime industry but also of important series that have either been brought to the US already or are still available to be brought to the US.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com LUPIN III
Arguably one of the most popular anime in Japan of all time, Lupin will celebrate thirty-five years in animation this year. The first TV series premeired in 1971 and the Lupin gang and the bumbling Inspector Zenigata have all won the hearts of Japanese fans over the past three and a half decades. For the past couple of years, Lupin III has been making headway into more mainstream Anime fandom with not only the numerous films and TV specials being brought to the US by various companies, but also the second TV series being brought out by Pioneer and being featured on the [Adult Swim] blocks. Ironically, it wasn't the first two television series that brought the series its lasting popularity in Japan but it was 1979's theatrical feature Castle of Caglostro 『カリオストロの城』 directed by none other than Miyazaki Hayao.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com DRAGONBALL
Honestly, who's not heard of Dragonball? I was more shocked at realizing that the anime itself turns twenty this year. That's right, it's been a full twenty years since a city girl wandered into the mountains and found a lonely boy in search of mystical, wish-granting spheres. An it spawned one of the most worldwide recognizable anime trilogies ever. Even though the Dragonball trilogy ended ten years ago with its third but unsuccessful TV series, Japan has renewed its interest in martial arts shonen action in the massively popular Naruto 『ナルト』.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com URUSEI YATSURA
If there is any series more recognized than the aforementioned Lupin III , Urusei Yatsura definately gives it a run for its money. Based off of the popular comics from Takahashi Rumiko; her first hit before she wrote other major series such as Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2, and Inu Yasha. The TV series is full of many pop-culture references, a few of which have to be explained to younger Japanese but still fresh in the memories of people who probably caught it on the original run. No matter though - the universal themes of this series has allowed it to find audiences on both sides of the Pacific. Urusei Yatsura makes a very memorable milestone this year - the full quarter century. Happy Twenty-Fifth!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMahoutsukai Sally
The final anniversary spotlight anime here is a truly revolutonary title: Mahoutsukai Sally. Sally celebrates a the big 4-0 this year. First debuting in 1966, it is more memorable for its 1972 theatrical theme dealing in the same subject matter and characters but it took anime aimed at the shoujo genre and created what anime and manga fans have dubbed the "Mahou Shoujo" - the Magical Girl. This title, as well as with its fan appeal, brought us other titles such as Hana no Ko Lun Lun 『花の子ルンルン』, Pretty Soldier Sailormoon 『美少女戦士セーラームーン』, and Ojamajo Doremi 『オジャ魔女ドレミ』 and parodies such as Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sami 『魔法少女プレテイサミ』.

These are only a few of the titles that I thought I should mention for the anniversaries in 2006. Throughout the year I'll be doing a look at more of the Mahou Shoujo titles and how they've changed over the years. After all, this is the anniversary of the birth of a genre. An opportunity to do articles over the evolution on an entire genre for its anniversary doesn't come around that often.

I'll also be looking into more titles that are hitting anniversaries this year and hopefully looking for what we can expect from either licensing or DVD releases or re-releases.

Thanks for visiting Akihabara Renditions; I wish you a happy 2006 and please look forward for more of what we've got going on here more in 2006.


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