TechTV finally opens their Anime Unleashed website.

If the previous bit of anime info was a little disappointing due to the rather limited availability then this next bit of anime news should make you feel a little better. The official TechTV Anime Unleashed website is now up with a listing of their initial titles they’ll be showing on that channel. You can look forward to catching Crest of the Stars, Serial Experiment Lain, Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure, Betterman and Silent Mobius.

The ads on the channel have only been showing Crest of the Stars and it didn’t look too compelling to me, but then it does appear to be fairly old. Of the rest I’m most familiar with Serial Experiment Lain as I have about half of that series on DVD and keep intending to buy the rest of it. If nothing else, it’s emphasis on technology and the ‘wired’ makes it a good fit, though it’s slow pace may leave some folks cold.

I’m looking forward to seeing how well TechTV handles their anime lineup and how much of a success it is. Though I still think they should expand Extended Play to a full hour. Not that it has anything to do with anime, but I thought I’d toss it in here none the less.

ADV launches the Anime Network.

Not content to be one of the largest anime import houses, the folks at ADV are now launching their own 24×7 Anime Network.

Alas you have to have Comcrap cable service and live in Philadelphia to get it as it’s part of a new Video On Demand service. Here’s some PR mojo ripped from the official website:

Initial programming will include both fan-favorite feature films and multi-episode series. Titles include Spriggan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Excel Saga, Martian Successor Nadesico, Gasaraki, Noir, Dai-Guard, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Orphen, Golden Boy, Sorcerer Hunters, Kimera, Ninja Resurrection, Tekken, Those Who Hunt Elves, Gunsmith Cats, Burn Up W and Samurai X: The Motion Picture.

Even dubbed into English, anime is nobodys cartoon. Anime is distinctly Asian, and explores the boundaries of animated moving pictures in ways that American cartoons never have. The distinctive style of anime is exploding into western pop culture, and anime titlesҗfrom Sailor Moon to Cowboy Bebopare beginning to appear on American television. The time is ripe for moreׅ

No word on what this service costs or when they plan to expand it beyond the Philly area, but the folks at TAN are already encouraging you to write your local cable company and bitch at them to get you the service ASAP. They even provide you with a handy-dandy locater thingy to tell you were to send your letter.

I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Wide Open West pick up the channel as long as they don’t charge an arm and a leg for it. If nothing else it would allow me to get caught up on some of the ADV series I’ve missed since I dropped out of collecting anime.

More anime coming to CN’s Adult Swim.

Saw a blurb over at Bottom Dwelling[dot]com that Cartoon Network is planning on showing Trigun, Lupin the III and Reign during Adult Swim next year. I’ve been meaning to catch up on Trigun for awhile now so perhaps this’ll be my chance.

And on a related note, the folks at TechTV are set to launch a new anime related show called Anime Unleashed. They don’t have any info on the show up on their website yet, but they’ve started airing ads for it recently.

Spirited Away trailer on the web.

An official website and trailer for the anime film Spirited Away is now out on the web. This is the latest film from Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame and the latest to be released theatrically by Disney Studios outside of Japan. No word yet on how big a release it will see or where, but if you have a theater nearby that deals in a lot of independent and art house films then you may get a chance to catch this one they way it should be seen. On the big screen.

Good summary of a few anime titles.

As long as I’m talking about Matt’s site I should take a moment and point out his excellent little summary of a handful of good anime titles for anyone interested in learning more about the art form to check out.

I’ve chatted a little about anime here in the past. Mainly in relation to the two websites I used to run related to it, The Casual Otaku and AnimeLinks.com. Typing in the old URLs now will lead you to a second-rate search engine (the TCO URL) and an online store called Things From Another World (the animelinks.com URL) that lists anime for you to buy. The TCO domain has improved somewhat at least. It used to point to an offer to buy the domain surrounded by a host of ads for porn websites. Anyway, ran those sites for about 5 years. Got to know a lot of people in the industry. Got a lot of free anime that I ended up writing a lot of reviews for. Had a great time doing it.

I’m out of touch with the industry these days. Haven’t had the money to keep up with the series I was fond of and the only person in the industry I still hear from regularly is good friend and English voice actor Michael Brady who’s probably best know as the English voice for Joe from Crusher Joe. Haven’t been to an anime convention in almost two years now. I have two six-shelf bookcases on either side of my television filled with video tapes. A book case and a half of which is all anime. There’s still a few titles that have never been unwrapped for one reason or another. Blue Seed, for example, mainly because I started getting that one right in the middle of the series and it wasn’t the sort of title I felt compelled to go buy the first half of to see it and I wasn’t going to start in the middle. I keep thinking I’m going to auction off some of the stuff I bought myself and re-invest in DVDs so it’ll take up less room. I probably have a couple hundred dollars invested in the first 40 or so Ranma 1/2 tapes alone.

I did manage to rent the new Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust movie this past weekend, though, and I watched it this evening. I thought it was pretty good, certainly better than the first film. The English dub was one of the better jobs I’ve heard in awhile. Lefty’s comments alone made it worthwhile. Lefty is a parasite face that lives in the palm of D’s left hand. No, I don’t know why, I just know it was funny.

Anyway, the point of all this was to recommend folks check out Matt’s summary. Didn’t mean to go off on a large tangent, but I get a little nostalgic thinking of the days I was heavy into anime. Sometime soon I’ll post my own list of recommended titles.

OH MY GOD! THEY KILLED GEORGIE!

And so once more I give in to a popular trend and fall prey to the South Park Studio which allows you to make your own South Park character. In case you couldn’t tell, this is me (roughly) if I were a character from the show. Obviously, this is during a period when I haven’t shaved my head and have trimmed my beard. In real life, the hair should be shorter and the beard should be more like what the guys in ZZ Top have, though not quite that bad. If nothing else, I certainly have the swearing part down without needing much in the way of rehearsal and I’m happy to entertain any offers the show’s creators may feel like making to have me appear in an episode for no apparent good reason. I already have experience with voice acting from a small role in the English dub for a Japanese animation called Kite in which my character is shot and killed with exploding bullets. Despite that being my first real acting job, the reviews of my performance earned high marks. After work in such a compelling animated drama I would be thrilled to turn my talents toward a small part in a fine comedic series such as South Park. Feel free to contact me at any time. Thank you.

P.S. Click on the picture to see a bigger version.