Right Stuf licenses El Hazard, Funimation licenses several titles at Anime Central

This afternoon, Right Stuf International announced that they had licensed the anime series El Hazard: The WanderersIn addition, as opposed to some more recent Right Stuf announcements, El Hazard will be receiving a dub, per the website.  Right Stuff is releasing it in a single 26-episode box set on September 7th.  El Hazard was originally aired between October 1995 and March 1996.

Meanwhile, this past weekend, Funimation announced several new acquisitions, including:

  • Rosario + Vampire (both seasons)
  • Chaos;HEAd
  • Chrome Shelled Regios
  • Rideback
  • Heaven’s Lost Property (Sora no Otoshimono), and
  • GUNxSWORD

GUNxSWORD and Regios will be released late in 2010, while everything else is slated for release sometime in 2011.

Edit: El Hazard is apparently a rescue from Geneon, not an entirely new acquisition.

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Top 10 Anime Openings of 2009

As I did last year, here is the list of what I thought the top 10 anime OPs of 2009 were. Enjoy!

10. “Aoi Hana” by Kukikodan – Sweet Blue Flowers OP

This is a nice little song to start off the countdown.

9. “Super Driver” by Aya Hirano – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya OP2

While the ED was the good song from the first season, the OP was the good song from the second season of Haruhi.

8. “Kimi ni Todoke” by Tanizawa Tomofumi – Kimi ni Todoke OP

Another nice soft rock song that I think is pretty good and matches the show pretty well.

7. “Kimi Shinitamō Koto Nakare” by May’n – Shangri-la OP

I wasn’t too sure about this OP to start with, but it kind of grew on me after a while

6. “HANAJI” by Yu Kobayashi – Maria Holic OP

Rather ecchi, but how can one not like this OP?

5. “Karma” by KOKIA – Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom OP1

KOKIA once again makes the list, this time for her excellent, if not eerie, OP for Phantom.

4. “Parallel Hearts” by FictionJunction – Pandora Hearts OP

This OP just stuck on me from the very start.  I think it’s pretty good, anyway

3. “Oyasumi Paradox” by Etsuko Yakushimaru – Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chū OP

I didn’t watch this show, but I love this OP.

2. “Falling Down” by Oasis – Eden of the East OP

One of the very best OPs of the year, if not for the past few years. And being sung in English (being that it’s sung by Oasis) probably doesn’t hurt either.

1. “kiseki” by NIRGILIS – Birdy the Mighty DECODE 02 OP

However, the #1 OP of the year goes to a show from all the way back in the winter season.  It was a tough choice between #1 and #2, but I thought this one just won out.

Top 10 Anime Endings of 2009

As I did last year, here is the list of what I thought the top 10 anime EDs of 2009 were. Enjoy!

10. “Kimi ni, Mune Kyun” by Yu Kobayashi, Asami Sanada and Marina Inoue – Maria Holic ED

This was kind an odd ED, though it probably fit the series in that regard.  It kind of grew on me, though, after a while.

9. “Hajimari no Asa ni Hikari Are” by midori – Shangri-la ED

I’m kind of surprised this landed as low as it did.  I guess it says something about the quality of the EDs this past year.

8. “Transparent” by KOKIA – Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom ED2

Like KOKIA’s OP for the same series, this one is somewhat eerie, and as a result, fits the series well

7. “Zetsubou Restaurant” by Zetsubou Shoujotachi – Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei ED1

This is kind of a funny ED.  I’ve never seen any of these series, though it kinda almost makes me want to

6. “Link” by angela – Asura Cryin’ ED1

Another good song by angela.  Many of the songs for this show were good, and this was the best one, but the only one to make the lists.

5. “Koi no Uta” by Haruka TomatsuShinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S ED

This is kind of a nice, soft but feel-good-like song, with interesting animation to add to it.

4. “BACCHIKOI!!!” by DEV PARADE – Naurto Shippuden ED8

Yes, I even check out OPs and EDs for shows like Naruto when doing this list.  For once, they had one which was not only good enough to make a list, but high on the list.  This ED is just hilarious to me, even though I’ve never watched the show.

3. “Blue sky, True sky” by Aira Yuhki – Tears to Tiara ED1

This was a tough choice for the #3 spot, but I think this song was, overall, a bit better quality.

2. “Don’t say ”lazy”” by Yoko Hikasa with Aki Toyosaki, Satomi Satou and Minako Kotobuki – K-ON ED

This song was a pretty easy choice for #2.  The show might not have been that great, but it did have some good music.

1. “Hikari to Yami to Toki no Hate” by Ceui – Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai ED

I melt whenever I hear this.  This was a no-brainer as #1 on my list.

First Impressions: Sora no Otoshimono

230px-Sora_no_Otoshimono_vol01Polaryzed – Now this series threw me for a loop.  I came into it knowing that it’d be a fan service comedy.  The premise/synopsis from ANN made it sound very similar to To Love-Ru.  I enjoyed watching that show, in a mindless zombie way, and I’m never one to shy away from fan service, so I gave this a try.  After two episodes, I’m VERY surprised by this show.  The production quality is much higher than I expected, and it was REALLY FUNNY.

What I usually don’t like about most fan service comedies is the male lead.  They usually are trying to adhere to some mythical ‘higher moral standard‘ that keeps them from acting on their impulses the way that (IMO) most other teenage males would.  For that reason you get the old: “Lala-san put some clothes on!  I don’t want to see that!”, or something similar.

Sora no Otoshimono is handling it differently, which I like.  When an oppai andriod angel falls from the sky and says that she can grant wishes, what does he do?  Wish for money and to be invisible so that he can watch/grope his hawt neighbor.  Perfect!  This is an animated fantasy, so dammit show me some fantasies.  It’s a funny and off the wall show that doesn’t seem like it’s really supposed to make much sense, but who cares?

The clinching moment for me came at the end of the second episode.  After all that pantsu nonsense the whole episode, the show has an ED of beautiful panoromic scenery with pantsu flying in a goose flock formation.  Absolute win.  Definitely going to watch this one to see what else pantsu can do that I didn’t know about.  I’m out!

First Impressions: The Secret of Nogizaka Haruka – Purity

The Secret of Nogizaka Haruka - PurityJosh: There wasn’t very much “pure” about the first episode of this second season, since the first episode attempted to be a fan service fest.  Unfortunately, the main star of the first episode was the steam used to censor all the fan service which was apparently going on behind the, er, steam.  Now, I’m not one for huge fan service shows, but if you’re gonna show fan service, then you just as well show fan service.  What’s the point in having loads of it but not showing any of it.  I can understand if it is an otherwise clean show with a few risque shots that you don’t want going overboard, but the first episode was nearly unwatchable.

Luckily the 2nd episode was mostly steamless and started going back towards what made the first season good in the first place: Haruka being a hot and popular, yet secret, otaku nerd.  However, I do have to laugh somewhat at the lacrosse anime, being an alumnus of Syracuse University.  I didn’t even know that the Japanese knew what lacrosse was, given that it is one of the few sports truly rooted in North America, having originated with Native Americans (though apparently Japan does indeed have it’s own lacrosse association).

Hopefully the rest of the series will go more of the way of the 2nd episode than the 1st…

Polaryzed: I don’t have much more to add that Josh didn’t already say.  I also enjoyed the first season and hope it continues that way.  Steam sucks.  The end.

First Impressions: Natsu no Arashi 2

top_03I really enjoyed the first season of Natsu no Arashi. I liked the silly humor, the interesting characters, and even the drama that they mixed in at the perfect times.  Naturally I wanted to see more in a second season.  So far, the first two episodes have been high on the hi-jinks and fan service, but that’s all right with me.  I still find it amusing as they reintroduce the characters, and I expect (hope) that they’ll start with some more plot progression with episode three.

The character designs aren’t my favorite, but I can overlook that because the characters are so much fun.  I wonder if the situation with Jun will be resolved early this season, or if it’s going to be the main focus of the season instead.  Either way, I’m going to continue to watch this every week. Peace!

First Impressions: 11eyes

11eyesJosh: This series has at least started off somewhat promising, but I still can’t shake the feeling that I’ve basically seen these characters and this story, in some form or variation before…several times.  Maybe this show will put them all together in some unique combination, or maybe it’ll just be the same show we’ve seen 3 times before already.  For some reason I got a feel for this show that is some strange mix of Shuffle and Asura Cryin’ or something along those lines (with bonus Pandora Hearts attack chains).

This is based off an eroge, so I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked at the fan service, and perhaps glad that it isn’t more prominent, but the more we have seemingly pointless fan service, the more points the show loses.  Some shows can survive such displays (I consider Shuffle one of them), but many do not, in my opinion.  Throw in some sexual harassing tentacles and the ever omnipresent anemia, and the start of this series feels a bit too cliched for it’s own good, despite it’s somewhat uniqueness.  Nevertheless, This is probably one of the top 4 shows that I’m watching this new season (out of 7 that have started).

Polaryzed: Well, as I’ve said before, fantasy anime aren’t really my thing.  However, I was intrigued by the promotional material, and since I’m such a big idiot I always watch almost ALL new series anyway.  I’ve only watched the first episode, but here are the things I liked so far: pantsu and fan service.  What I didn’t like: the rest.  The animation was sketchy (and it’s only the first ep!), the premise seemed the same as a thousand series before it, and let’s face it, the monsters were really lame looking.  I’ll almost never dis a series for fan service, and this is no exception.  In this case, however, the fan service might not be enough to draw me back.

On the bright side, there was a lot of mystique surround the whole sister death, the parallel world, etc., making things interesting.  But intrigue alone isn’t enough to sustain a good show.  You need good characters to help maintain the effect and so far the characters are very one dimensional.  In fact, the show lost a lot of points for me when the male protagonist proclaims in the first episode one of my most loathed lines in anime: “No matter what I will protect you!”  Ugh.  I don’t mind that line so much if the series has drawn you into the characters and you WANT him to protect her as much as he does.  Not so much here.

I’ll probably give this series until episode 3 to improve or I drop it.

First Impressions: Sasameki Koto

230px-Sasameki_Koto_vol01If you like yuri romance series, then this is the show for you.  I have mixed feelings about this series so far.  The first episode was really good (although maybe a little TOO melodramatic), and the second season kinda went the way of the trap.  However, I still like the subtle way that they handle the feelings in this show, the sideways glances, etc.  The art is good, but not spectacular, and the story seems decent so far.  It’s a very similar setup to Aoi Hana where one friend likes the other but can’t say it.  The colors are more vibrant than Aoi Hana, though, and to me the characters seem more likable.

I liked the fact that the boy who likes Sumika has already told her, knows that she actually likes Ushio, and everything is out in the open.  That alone puts it above other series where everything is left up to misunderstandings and misconceptions. Nothing drives me more crazy than a series where you spend 13 episodes before someone confesses, or doesn’t due to some lame circumstance.  Hopefully this series avoids that as it appears to be.  I’m out!

First Impressions: Asura Cryin' 2

Asura Cryin' 2Josh – I guess I didn’t have to do a first impressions post for this, since this is the direct continuation of the first season, but since it’s “new,” I thought I would.  The first episode ended up being a fairly light-hearted re-introduction to the series, but we’re already back into the serious stuff in the 2nd episode.  One of the things I like about this series is that it’s able to mix seriousness and comedy reasonably well, though it could certainly do better at it as well.

I had some grave doubts about this series the last time I wrote about it, 5 episodes into the first season, but I think some of the writing and shear confusion has been cleared up, or at least there is a clear hope that things will eventually get answered, which is more than I could say then.  I’d still say that Asura Cryin’ overall is only about an average show, but I think it still has the potential to be pretty good or crash and burn at this point.

First Impressions: Nyan Koi

Nyan-KoiPolaryzed – I’ve finished the first 3 episodes of this show and I must say that I think this series gets my Surprise Hit of the Season Award.  Originally I had this on my pass list.  Come on, a kid starts talking to cats and it’s supposed to be good?!  Well, it IS!  The characters are great and likable, the writing is good, the jokes are funny, it’s silly but not over the top, and the dialogues with Junpei and the cats are awesome.  I’m definitely watching this one to the end.

It has a touch of romance, decent comedy that isn’t based purely on fan service, and the animation is crisp and, so far, consistent.  Pairing wise, I’m definitely on the Junpei x Sumiyoshi boat.  Kaede is kind of annoying and a little to perfect for my tastes.  Give me an oppai tsundere tomboy any time over that.  Based on the OP, there are a few more characters to get introduced (including what look like twins), so I hope it doesn’t turn out to be too much of a harem.  Time will tell I guess.  Check it out.