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Shelf Life
Helmets and baseball gloves

by Bamboo Dong,
As I'm sure everyone has experienced at one point in their lives or another, sleep deprivation is the guaranteed way to make everything around you ten times funnier than should be normally allowed. The less sleep you have, or the more tired you are, the more likely you are to laugh about something completely inane and insipid. On hindsight, you're struck with the horrifying realization that you cracked what could possibly be the lamest set of jokes ever—and thought that they were deserving of the stupefied tag, “Omigod, this is like, the funniest thing EVAR.” Case in point, watching the Princess Nine dub at 7:30AM after not sleeping since—well, hours blur into days blur into goodness knows how long. The series follows the ambitious life of a girl named Ryo as she and her teammates build a high school baseball team from scratch and aim for the Nationals. The thing is, when the dub is heard from a distance, it sounds like the characters are calling the girl “Yo.” Naturally, humour is dredged up from the depths of sleep loss when phrases such as “Hey Yo, what's up Yo?” are uttered. A personal favorite is seeing the mother stand at the doorway and greeting her daughter with a cheery “YO!” Yes, I realize that Princess Nine is a fan-favorite, and I realize that it sports a great dub, but damn yo, it's pretty funny, yo.

And with that, welcome to this week's Shelf Life, yo.

Shelf Worthy

Sailor Moon Season 2 Box Set
ADV Films 1000 min. 1/1 $149.98 09/23/2003

Right now, thousands of fanboys are nerdgasming in their shoes. Are you? Not even if you touch the sleek corners of this deliciously slick box, with its subtitled, uncut DVDs? Well, you ought to be, and if you aren't, then maybe you will be once you get your hands on this—the Sailor Moon Season 2 DVD boxset. Fathered by the guys at ADV, this bundle of love is guaranteed to please any hardcore fan of Sailor Moon. Following the quest of the brainless Sailor Scouts as they battle one generic foe after another, this fan favorite series continues its journey onto the shelves of fandom in its uncut, subtitled-only release. Though it might be certain mental death to marathon more than 4 episodes at a time, it's certainly a comfortable feeling owning this legacy in its original form. Dorky reason? Yes, but it certainly makes it worthwhile. After all, if you're patient enough to stand Sailor Moon, then you must certainly be hardcore enough to want the boxset.

X Vol. #7
Pioneer Animation 75 min. 7/8 $29.98 09/23/2003

There are some series that will never cease to be drop dead *hot* and the X TV series is one of them. Combining the slippery fluidity that defines all good animation and the luridly dark atmosphere of CLAMP, this volume continues to deliver quality, 25 minutes at a time. With only one volume to go, character relationships are strengthening and the drama is kicking up a notch. The air is so caked with angst and fear that it's almost oozing out of the DVD tray. Viewers will certainly be feeling the scare themselves as it slowly dawns on them that there are only 3 episodes left and nothing has been accomplished in seven volumes. Until then, viewers can still enjoy this disc, because shows like X are the very definition of high excellence. With Kamui snapped out of his blue phase and the detailed plans for world annihilation laid out, viewers are in for one hell of a ride. If X isn't on your shelf yet, you should start now.

Rental Shelf

Blue Seed: Beyond
ADV Films 100 min. 1/1 $19.98 09/23/2003

Sure to please fans of the original Blue Seed TV series, the Blue Seed OAV is now available from ADV Films. Made two years after the original series, the three-part OVA pulls the same stunt that every anime series pulls after it's exhausted its supply of wars. It takes the characters to America. And adds fanservice. And a bath and/or hot spring scene. Preferably at the same time. Yo. In this brief sashay into the world of Blue Seed, an Evil American Scientist has created an Aragami that doesn't need the power of Susanoo. The old characters are remobilized to battle this new threat, but something even more sinister appears... an American!! ... with large breasts, to prey off the insecurities of all the whiny girls! The first two episodes provide the meat of the new series, giving Blue Seed fans the perfect time to reacquaint themselves with their old buddies. These two episodes prove to be rather interesting, but then things are thrown into the shredder when all traces of seriousness are abandoned for a random hot springs scene. Indeed, the best way to keep an old series fresh is always to add more breasts. This will be a fun watch for all preexisting Blue Seed fans, but for all you others, there are stronger stand-alones out there than this.

Corrector Yui Vol. #2
Viz, LLC. 125 min. 2/? $24.98 09/23/2003

Right now, I'm just waiting for Yui to fight enemies named Klez and Blaster. Maybe even Professor Trojan X. With a villainous cast comprised of goofy names like Freeze and Virus, the second volume of Corrector Yui continues with its semi-cute, semi-ditzy entourage of IT Security crime fighters. Perhaps the thing that makes this series so entertaining is the unique way that the monster-of-the-week theme is served. Rather than fighting ghosts and villains, Yui is pitted against technology problems like viruses and network holes. Although this pattern may get dull after awhile, for the time being, it's still novel enough to entertain. After all, who out there isn't itching to hear her yell out, “Magical Patch Attack!” and do the Norton Antivirus Super Transforming Dance? Okay, so that will never happen, but it doesn't hurt to dream. If it weren't for the viruses and the ditzy girls, this series would be dry as a brick, but luckily, it's good enough for a rental or two.

Dragon Ball: General Blue Box Set
FUNimation Productions 1 $39.95 09/23/2003

Archie and Veronica meet Phallus Man in this week's box installment of Dragon Ball! In search of more Dragon Balls, the troupe head out to an underwater hideout where they have to fight a host of baddies, including General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army. It's been a while since I've seen any underwater DB action, so this was a fun set of episodes for me. I couldn't keep my face straight with the character designs, but watching the fights made up for it. It isn't often that you get to see people in anime floating around, video game style. The Red Ribbon Army is certainly one of the more interesting sets of villains in the Dragon Ball world, with its host of bad guys, both lame and not. If you're a fan of the series, this will certainly be interesting for you. If not, well, you'll be bored to tears, but at least you get to laugh at the Conehead.

Rune Soldier Vol. #4: Monsters & Mayhem
ADV Films 100 min. 4/6 $29.98 09/23/2003

I always did say that every series had a requisite bath house ‘n’ fanservice scene, and by golly, Rune Soldier is no exception. Taking place back in ye old runic days though, the bath house is replaced by an idyllic lake, but don't be alarmed, for the swimsuits and breasts are still there, buoyant as ever. With the series tumbling beyond the one-half mark, the episodes continue on their spontaneous journey, but with only two volumes left, viewers should prepare themselves for a real story arc. In fact, the last episode starts hinting as such, making it one of the more interesting episodes, sans the squishy mammary glands. Even with the colorful characters gracing the earlier episodes though, the viewing experience still varies between the dull and the exciting. Regardless, it's a fun show to watch when you're putting off work, so if you get bored this week, this'll be good for your DVD player.

SoftCel Pictures 60 min. 1/1 $29.98 09/23/2003

Now this is what I call some steamy cyber. Panning off as a lighthearted comedy, Virtuacall explores the realms of secret crushes and flirtatious romances, all while exploring the oddities of virtual sex. The main character is a gentle girl who has a crush on her big brother. Okay, okay, he's not really her big brother (we'll save that for later CPM releases), but he treats her like he is. But now the poor girl has a crush on him, even though he's thickheaded enough to not recognize the signs. Well, A leads to B leads to C jumps to Q, as the girl introduces him to something called Virtuacall. Think of it as a dating service that lets you talk to people—and feel them too. In a move that smacks of Huxley's A Brave New World, people put helmets on their heads and manage to have sex until the power source comes up. Sure, not all of the logic works out too well in the series, but in the end, viewers are left with a cute comedy that will please hentai lovers without grossing them out. Remember those good old days when hentai didn't try to creep people out by hitting every sick and sorry fetish on the map? Virtuacall tries to remind you.

Still no perishables for this week. Come on companies, you can sling stinkier crap than that! Until then, thanks for reading Shelf Life!

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