Anime DVD and Manga Releases for April 7 – 20

Sorry for being a little late with this, but last month of masters work is hectic.

Hunter X Hunter DVD Set #2
Maid Sama Manga Volume 1

Anime DVDs

April 7, 2009
Fruits Basket – Box Set
Hunter X Hunter – Set #2
Madlax – Box Set

Manga

April 7, 2009
Astral Project – Volume 3
Baby & Me – Volume 13
Beauty Pop – Volume 10
Demon Flowers – Volume 5
Dinosaur Hour – Volume 1
Dragon Drive – Volume 13
Eyeshield 21 – Volume 25
Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden – Volume 8
Honey Hunt – Volume 1
Hoshin Engi – Volume 12
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Volume 11
Kyo Kara Maoh! – Volume 3
La Corda d’Oro – Volume 10
Legend of Zelda – Volume 4
Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation – Volume 10
Naruto – Volume 42
Naruto – Volume 43
Naruto – Volume 44
NORA: The Last Chronicle of Devildom – Volume 4
Reborn! – Volume 11
Rosario + Vampire – Volume 6
Samurai Deeper Kyo – Volume 34
Strawberry 100% – Volume 8
Vampire Knight – Volume 6

April 8, 2009
Ghost Talker’s Daydream – Volume 4
Slam Dunk – Volume 3
Trigun Maximum – Volume 14

April 14, 2009
Battle Angel Alita: Last Order – Volume 11
Black Lagoon – Volume 5
Boys Over Flowers – Volume 35
Chibi Vampire – Volume 13
Dogs – Prelude
Fate/Stay Night – Volume 3
Gimmick! – Volume 6
I Hate You More Than Anyone – Volume 7
Inuyasha – Volume 37
Maid Sama! – Volume 1
Nightmare Inspector: Yumekui Kenbun – Volume 7
O-Parts Hunter – Volume 15
Phantom Dream – Volume 2
Record of a Fallen Vampire – Volume 5
Red River – Volume 25
Silver Diamond – Volume 4
Venus for Love – Volume 6
Zatch Bell! – Volume 24

Dragonball Evolution weekend estimate: $4.65 million

I don’t think even the biggest doubters of the live-actin Dragonball: Evolution could have imagined that this movie would have bombed so much.  After 3 days, Dragonball: Evolution opened at #8 with an estimated $4.65 million.  One should note that these estimates are often revised downwards as well (Speed Racer‘s actual opening weekend total was nearly 10% less than the initial estimate), so in a worst case scenario, the actuals could put it under even $4 million.

Given that Dragonball screened on 2,181 theaters and that average ticket prices are $7.18, that means a total of about 647,500 people saw this movie, averaging to about 300 people per theater, or 100 people per theater per day (and then spread that out to 5 to 7 shows per day per theater, assuming it was only on 1 screen per theater, it’s looking at something around 15 to 20 people per screen per showing.).  While Speed Racer was seen as a bomb as well, it still garnered 249 people per theater per day, even though it was shown in over 1000 more theaters.  Box Office Mojo rates it as the 84th worst opening for a movie that opened in over 2000 theaters.

This also continues a string of flops for Fox, whose last films have opened to bad performances, with 12 Rounds opening to just $5.3 million and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li opening at $4.7 million (in 1,136 theaters, meaning that, on average, it actually did better than Dragonball), and the studio only has 2 films in the top 30 this year so far.

Weekend actuals are expected to be released sometime this afternoon.

Dragonball loses it's balls at the box office – opens Friday at $2.1 million

The question of whether the new Hannah Montana movie would do better than Dragonball: Evolution has been answered with a definitive yes.  In fact, it turned into a blowout.

Dragonball: Evolution opened Friday with a non-existant $2.1 million, opening in 8th place after one day, and averaging $951 per screen (though, it would open at #6 based on how much money was made per screen).  If you say that each screen had an average of 6 showings of the movie, that averages down to about $158.50 per showing, or about 16 people in the theater every time it ran.

Just from a brief review of early movies, there is little consistency on whether Friday is the best or worst (or middle) day for weekend box office numbers, but at this point Dragonball is probably going to be looking at between a $5 million  and $8 million opening weekend – obviously a bigger bomb than even I was imagining it to be.

On the otherhand, Hannah Montana looks to open at #1, racking up $17.4 million on Friday, and looks to garner between $45 and $60 million in a huge surprise this weekend.  (though I”m not sure what this says about society in general).

Update: Also for some perspective, Speed Racer opened on Friday at $6.2 million, leading into an opening weekend of $18.6 million and an overall domestic haul of $43.9 million.  Now consider that Dragonball is making about 1/3 Speed Racer did on opening Friday…

Toradora – Anime Review

The Essentials

ToradoraName: Toradora
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Episodes: 25
Aired: October 1, 2008 – March 25, 2009
Based On: Toradora light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Produced By: Genco, J.C. Staff
US Distribution By: Not Licensed

Cast

Character Japanese Cast English Cast (N/A)
Taiga Aisaka: Rie Kugimiya
Ryuji Takasu: Junji Majima
Minori Kushieda: Yui Horie
Ami Kawashima: Eri Kitamura
Yusaku Kitamura: Hirofumi Nojima
Yasuko Takasu: Sayaka Ohara

Review

Toradora is centered around two high school students who happen to live next to each other: Taiga Aisaka and Ryuji Takasu.

Taiga, known by the nickname “Palmtop Tiger” at school due to the combination of her small stature and her fierce outward personality, has had a crush on one of her classmates, Yusaku Kitamura, for a while.  She’s also the daughter of a rich family, though is currently estranged from both of her parents and live in a condo on her own that her father pays for.  Ryuji, who is known somewhat as a delinquient at school due to his intense look, has a crush on classmate Minori.  He also lives with his single mother, who works at a hostess bar to make ends meet and is largely a clean freak and good cook.

Taiga and Ryuji’s story starts when Taiga accidentally puts a love letter meant for Kitamura into Ryuji’s bag, due to confusing which seat they sat in.  Having found out that Ryuji now knows such an embarassing thing attacks him over it.  However, Taiga soon finds out that Ryuji likes her best friend Minori and the two decide to create a pact where they each will try to set the other up with their crushes (as Kitamura is also Ryuji’s friend just as Minori is Taiga’s).

Eventually, this leads into a mess where Taiga likes Kitamura, but Kitamura wants to remain friends, where Ryuji likes Minori, Minori likes Ryuji, Taiga starts having feelings for Ryuji, but both Taiga and Minori try to push Ryuji towards the other beliving that’s who really likes Ryuji/who Ryuji really likes.  Throw in a fifth wheel in the popular idol Ami Kawashima, whom is really selfish, though she covers up that part of her personality around others, and you have an overall good romantic comedy.

My primary issue with this series is at the end, where I think the switch from Taiga perusing Kitamura to “discovering” that she liked Ryuji and, especially, the transition from Ryuji going after Minori to going after Taiga is too abrupt and without very much foreshadowing in the show other than Minori’s refusal to date Ryuji (which initially is taken as her just not liking Ryuji).  Most of the building in Taiga and Ryuji’s relationship being romantic is mostly due to the simple fact that the story focuses on them, not necessarily anything in the story.

Luckily (or perhaps, the core of the problem) is that this transition only occurs over a couple of episodes, and the story after it gets past that point is also good, so the series as a whole isn’t too damaged by this problem.  Overall, one still gets about 22 episodes of a pretty good show out of a 25 episode series, which is still doing pretty good for any series.  Much of this is attributed to the comedy in the series, but there are also several dramatic scenes as well which are pulled off well in the middle and later part of the series.

On it’s technical aspects, the music is overall very good and the animation is, as a whole good, though there are a couple of exceptions.

Overall, I definitely think Toradora is a series that many anime fans would enjoy.

Scores

Story: 4/5
Animation: 5/5
Music: 5/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 5/5

First Watched: October 2008 – March 2009
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom – Episode 01

It’s Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom episode 1, and some guy wakes up in an empty room without memories when a masked woman suddenly starts to attack him.

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Continue reading

Blogging Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor SakuraYes, that’s right. In honor of it coming out in Blu-Ray and re-airing on Japanese TV in HD, I’m going to be blogging the entire series start to finish. This will probably be my biggest blogging job I’ve ever taken on, especially after I just said I’d only do one series because of my schedule. However, I’m making an exception for two reasons:

1) the rough patch in my schedule should only last another month or so. While that might wreck havoc with trying to blog a new series, I don’t really think missing a week or two on a series that’s something like 11 years old (yes, it’s that old – it’ll be 11 years old this Tuesday) will really be a big deal.

2) It should be relatively easier to blog this series. I’m taking screenshots from HD raws I’m downloading, but any subs I may need to reference I already have because I already own the series (though how much I’ll even need to reference the subs, I’m not sure, given that I know the series front and back).

As a result, I’m going to try to post a new episode weekly, though this project will probably be the first thing to get delayed if I need to start putting stuff off. However, I’ve always meant to blog one of the series that I own, and this one always seemed attractive, though I’ve always count of discounted it due to it’s length. However, the new HD release of it finally pushed me into deciding to blog it.

Howl's Moving Castle – Anime Review Update

Howl's Moving CastleThis is just a note saying that I’ve re-scored my review for Howl’s Moving Castle.

You can see the full review here.

The new scores for this series are:

Animation: 5/5
Story: 4/5
Music: 4/5
Dub: 5/5

Series: 4/5