Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Sadamitsu the Destroyer Vol. #3 – Showdown
Media Blasters 90 min. $24.95 1/? 06/15/2004
With a title like Sadamitsu the Destroyer, it's easy to picture the show as a cheesy sci-fi romp with alien invaders and a hero who lives only to mete out justice wherever he goes. Unsurprisingly, that's pretty much the gist of the show, but there's an added bonus... there're actually enough plot twists in the show to prevent it from being an entirely linear alien slaughterfest. The Ryuketai have stopped puttering about and have decided to take over the world en masse. Luckily, a man so powerful as Sadamitsu can take on those bad guys no problem—until the Boss (note: a Boss is always less powerful than the Super Boss, which is less powerful than Evilianciara, the Satan Boss) finds a way to cut through our hero's defenses and stymie his senses. With more and more lackey Bosses coming out of the woodworks, something dramatic is bound to happen. But our hero forges ON!!! Under any other normal circumstance, this would be just another monster versus Figure of Justice show, but it manages to stay one step ahead of that stereotype every episode. Whether it's injecting a touch of emotion into a fight, overhauling the cheese, or continually jerking the show off the track of The Norm, Sadamitsu manages to entertain without really trying. It's probably not worth the $24.95, but it makes for a great, underrated rental.
Legend of the Mystical Ninja Vol. #5 - Treachery & Allegiance
ADV Films 100 min. $19.99 5/5 06/15/2004
I'm sure if I was a kid, I'd think this show was a riot. However, I'm not a kid so instead, I present this to all of you out there that have children, or have the mind of one. After 23 episodes, Legend of the Mystical Ninja finishes out its run with a romp in outer space. Japan launches its first space shuttle, hoping to send the crew to an orbiting space station. Things are running smoothly until Mudanashi and co. decide that it'd be fun to try and take over the entire operation. Go figure Tsukasa's class chooses that time to take a field trip to the space center. Because he's the token unlucky guy, and because security is apparently very lax, he ends up getting lifted up into the loading dock of the ship. Eventually, this paves the way for the Ultimate Battle, high above the Earth's atmosphere. While it may not be the kind of timeless keepsake you'd cherish on your shelf forever, it's still a mildly pleasurable show (and the DVD cover's too much fun to play with). If anything, it's a good thing to have on hand when you're trying to entertain your kids.
Mouse Vol. 2 - Lusty Ambitions
Media Blasters 90 min. $19.95 2/? 06/15/2004
What? The main character's double life as a student and an internationally renowned thief is about to be exposed by some detective who won't give up? But there's a harem of beautiful, big-tittied women who will do anything to help him? How exquisite. Been there, done that, where's my Happy Meal? There isn't a single drop of originality in the second volume of Mouse (although the fetish outfit that Mei puts on halfway through is pretty cool) and it makes it a bit hard to swallow. Normally, having a thief show packed with breasts is grounds for semi-guilty entertainment or at least a small chuckle, but Mouse has a habit of just being Too Much. This volume pans out exactly like anyone would expect it to. Mouse tells the cops where he's going to pull off his next heist, the cops show up, and he does his shtick. Except now he has a sworn enemy who won't rest until he nabs Mouse. Of course, our thief really has nothing to worry about because every time he feels down and depressed, a gaggle of women will drape themselves over his scrawny body and mew like a bucket of unhappy kittens. If it's a thief show you want, go watch Lupin III or Saint Tail. If it's breasts you want, there are more rounded ones out there than this. If it's a solid story you want—aw hell, you get my drift. This might be good for a spat of MST3K with your friends, but beyond that, it's not really worth your money or your time.