Ima, kore ga hoshiin da! - Hiccup

Sometimes even the best laid out plans can experience a hiccup, much like the plan for this week's column. Throw in a couple of last minute finals and the family suddenly dropping in and the next thing you know, you're writing the column a day later than normal. No problem, it'll all come together somehow!

I'm hoping at some point to make the following section not a permanent part of the column. This is to be expected, but hopefully less frequently in the future. Last week, I spoke about a fun series, Hanaukyo Maid Tai. The series ran for 15 episodes, but only 12 appeared on TV. The last 3 were released via OVA. Episode 15 even pokes fun at the fact the series was originally slated for 18 episodes. It's a shame, since this series really had a lot of potential. I also incorrectly listed Central Park Media (CPM) as having released Magic User's Club!. That's incorrect, as it was actually Media Blasters under their AnimeWorks label.

As everyone knows, it's the start of the Convention season. For many this is a time to hang out with fellow enthusiasts as well as pick up information about new series coming the states. Last year's convention season got off to an interesting start as A.D. Vision announced a great number of new series acquisitions. This was promptly followed by an announcement that they did not have one of the series they had announced. This actually lead to more buzz about the series than was originally present which for them will probably lead to better sales.

The series makes a comeback this year as A.D. Vision announced at Anime Central that they did indeed have the series Noir. Noir is an extremely violent tale following two female assassins. From what little I've seen of this series, the plot is very plodding with the show taking itself way too seriously. Since gritty, heavy-handed series, tend to do well stateside; this should be a sure-fire hit for ADV. With the little snafu in announcing the series last year, there is a significant amount of buzz to carry the first volume in terms of opening sales.

Next up is a show that actually appeared as a surprise when A.D. Vision announced it. Gonzo, the studio behind Vandread, Gatekeepers and Hellsing, have created a new 24 episode series entitled Full Metal Panic!. The basic premise of the show is a teenage girl is threatened by terrorists and its up to an independent group of mercenaries to protect her. The show itself floats between typical mecha/military plotlines to more mundane fish out of water stories. Lots of serious drama and action punctuated with comic moments hits the screen every week as this story continues to its final episode sometime in July. Gonzo has actually had a string of hits licensed stateside even before they've finished their television run.

The real surprise here was the fact that it was A.D. Vision that acquired the license and not Pioneer. While not really a bad thing, since studios are free to negotiate with who they want, its disappointing that Full Metal Panic! dub won't be handled by Bang Zoom or one of Pioneer's regular studios. While A.D. Vision is free to go with any of those studios, with the 3 studios that they created available, the chances are slim indeed.

How soon can we expect to see these series? With Noir going into pre-production for recording very soon, the first disk might just make it out towards the end of this year. No plans have been announced for Full Metal Panic!, so mid 2003 is most likely.

While on the idea of studios negotiating with a variety of distributors in the U.S., I should note that in my very first column I miswrote that Nelvana had a first look clause with CLAMP. The deal is actually with Kodansha, the company that produced Card Captor Sakura.

Well, yes, I know its short and sweet this week, but I figured something is preferable to nothing. Just so you know, the powers that be at ANN like me to have a column in reserve, just for situations like this. Well, that column was used last week, so now I get to play catch up the next two weeks!

Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone that writes to me every week. I'm often the first to admit I don't know everything; so having a bit of help is always appreciated. Also, thanks for the words of encouragement!

Until next time, fellow adventurers!

Allen Divers
Freelance Adventurer

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