Running Behind, As Always, It Seems...

Just as I was behind getting the First State of Classic Anime in North America uploaded (well, composed, then uploaded), I've since fallen behind on updating this regularly with the news of the day. Licenses for more contemporary Japanese animation series have been announced and while the news for classics has been respectfully light, there have been some big developments none the less.

Just two days after I predicted a release for Ouritsu Uchuugun Oneamise no Tsubasa『王立宇宙軍オネアミセの翼』 (Wings of Honneamise), on 30 January, at Anime LA, Bandai Visual USA announced they do have plans to release the 1987 film that put GAINAX on the map in Japan and helped bring about modern anime fandom in North America. The Anime LA report at Anime News Network also confirms "compilation films" for both 1988's Top 'o nerae! Gunbuster 『トップをねらえ!ガンブスター』 and it's 2004 sequel Top 'o nerae! 2 DIEBUSTER 『トップをねらえ!ダイブスター』. When describing the release, it seems to describe Diebuster as a similar release to Gunbuster of three DVD at two episodes each. Nothing more has been said of the release, so perhaps as the convention season picks up later in the year we will have mroe details. Weeks before the Gunbuster release here in North America, the report also brought what some fans may see as ill news as well. During one of the training sequences, music had to be altered for undisclosed circumstances (to be exact, best speculation has to do with copyrights). The music was replaced with another track from the soundtrack but immediately fanboy legions were cancelling their orders. All I really have to say about it is that my copy of Gunbuster is in the mail (birthday present) and I'll review it as soon as I can; however, I will be keeping an eye out for an old LD set, the R2 JP DVD, or the R2 UK DVD for a comparison. The report also re-affirms the BVUSA's license of the 2006 ONA Rean no Tsubasa 『リーンの翼』 based upon the manga of the same name by Tomino Yoshiyuki and a part of the Byston Well stories from Sei Senshi Dunbine 『望戦士ダンバイン』 (Aura Battler Dunbine).

And like Laws of Physics, what goes up must come down. We gain Honneamise and we lose a very classic, Matsumoto Leiji work: Waga Seishun no Arcadia 『わが青春のアルカディア』 (My Youth in Arcadia/Arcadia of My Youth). As reported from Anime News Network again, AnimEigo has said that Arcadia is going out of print and will be as such when they run out of current stock. Like with Kimagure Orange Road, if you shop around, you'll still be able to pick up a copy and for dirt cheap. But, I advise you move quickly; I can't imagine the print run being incredibly large even for this awesome a film. I spoke a little about Arcadia back in August of 2005.

On a final note for the news for now, just as in February of 2006 I stated that Japan seems to be returning to older franchises in a production lull that I think has plagued the Japanese industry in the past few years. 2007 seems to be no different and these reproductions seem to be out in full force. Starting within the first quarter or so of this year, the following classic franchises will have new animations released for them (all research courtesey of Anime News Network):
Testujin 28go 『鉄人28号』
Koutetsu Jeeg 『鋼鉄ジーグ』
Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro 『ゲゲゲの鬼太郎』
Giant Robo 『ジャイアントロボ』
Juusou Kikou Dancougar Nova 『獣装機攻 ダンクーガ ノヴァ』
And coming later we can expect the following:
Soukou Kihei Votoms 『装甲騎兵ボトムズ』
Unspecified Macross 『マクロス』
Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman 『科学忍者隊ガッチャマン』

It looks like there is a lot to look forward to already. Some series I am already hesitant about how good they might be, especially this Macross in the works and I think that only comes from a history of mixed-review additions to the franchise. Votoms is a little harder for me to comment on because I am not really familiar in deep detail with it (yet). A CGI Gatchaman will be hard to predict because it seems to be a joint venture and I wonder with Japanese gaining more control in contemporary international versions if Tatsunoko will allow one of their flagship franchises to be treated in the same manner as it was with Battle of the Planets or G-Force. With series as old and beloved as Kitaro, Tetsujin, GR, and Jeeg, they are fairly simplistic series with fanbases already devoted to the originals, so they will mostly be icing on the cake and not draw a lot of backlash from many hardcore fans in North America.

No matter though as Akihabara Renditions will continue to monitor the North American and Japanese Industries and bring all of the reports of classic Japanese animation!

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