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Shelf Life
From futbol to football

by Bamboo Dong,
Recently, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) president Sepp Blatter made the suggestion that women's soccer teams should wear more revealing uniforms like tighter, skimpier shorts in order to attract more feminine sponsors and bring attention to the sport. He argued that women's soccer should have different company sponsors than their male counterparts, like cosmetics and fashion. From an AP news report, Blatter had told the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick, “In volleyball the women also wear other uniforms than the men. Pretty women are playing football today. Excuse me for saying that.” Needless to say, many top female players thought his suggestion was both “ridiculous” and “irresponsible.”

Honestly now, what was he thinking? Sure, there would be a handful of perverts who would start watching women's soccer just to stare at perky butts and bare legs, but is that worth tarnishing the sport for? People should watch the sport for the love of the game, not to leer at women and stare at cosmetics ads. The state of women's sports is already in a sorry enough state as it is. In many sports, women get shafted by either playing a different version of the game or by playing in a separate league with different rules and less competition. Now, there are examples of women playing in men's leagues, like the women who have played in the PGA, the women who have been field goal kickers on their high school football teams, or the woman who was a goaltender in the NHL for an exhibition game. For the most part though, these are positions in which the health risk is extremely low. From a health standpoint, this does make sense. If a 5'6, 140lb woman wanted to play a forward position in the NHL, one hit from a big guy like Peter Forsberg would put her in the hospital. But on the other hand, the alternatives are unfair.

There are women out there who have the heart and competitive spirit who want to play with the big boys. Women who want to play baseball are instead forced to play softball, a game with completely different rules. There's not even a major health risk for women to play baseball, so why not let them? Women who want to play ice hockey or basketball are sent to play in women's leagues where the competition is less bloodthirsty and just not as appealing to some. Take ice hockey for example. Women's hockey does not allow for checking which means that if someone has the puck, the person who even tries to push her into the boards gets penalized. A friend of mine had once commented, “women's hockey is like figure skating with a puck.” And I have to agree. Now, my question is this. If there are women out there who honestly want to play men's sports but are forced into women's leagues, why not use the same rules for both leagues? If a 6'4 man checked a 5'6 woman into the boards, she would get injured, but if a 5'9 woman checked a 5'6 woman, the risk of injury would be proportional to that of two men playing. Women want to play American football. Rugby isn't good enough for football enthusiasts. The answer? Create a league of female players with the same rules; tackling, rushing, everything intact. If men don't want women playing in their leagues because of health risks, I understand, and I agree. However, that doesn't mean women have to be stuck playing a lesser version of the sport. Women want to play men's sports. Let them do it without pussifying the game.

Welcome to Shelf Life.

Shelf Worthy

Big O II Vol. #1
Bandai Entertainment 100 min. 1/4 $24.98 01/20/2004

For anyone who's ever said that the Cartoon Network was some evil organization that ruined anime, I haughtily wave this in your face. Picking up on fan interest after the conclusion of Big O, they contacted the Japanese company, put themselves down as co-producers, and paved the way for an all-new season of Big O that will be pure joy for any fans of the first season. Continuing right where it left off, the scene is introduced as three Megadeus invade Paradigm City. As Roger battles them, the CEO of the Paradigm Corp catches up viewers on what's been going on, hinting at the state of affairs of the city that would later be revealed. While the mysterious gothic air of the original series has carried over, deeper layers of everyone's lives are ready to be revealed. Roger begins to question who he really is and even Paradigm City is beginning to unveil itself even further to viewers. If you enjoyed Big O, you will love every last second of this second season.

Kimagure Orange Road OVA/Movie Box Set
AnimEigo 270 min. 1/1 $74.98 01/20/2004

If there's one release that every hardcore anime fan needs on their shelves, it's this. Back in the day when we clustered in the back of comic book shops and watched 5th generation KOR fansubs, it was titles like this that gave our hobby meaning. As the title implies, this release combines the OVAs and the movie in one tidy release. The OVAs largely focus on the main characters and explore some of the love triangles that exist. Playing up the comedy angle very nicely, the episodes range from mix-ups as Kyosuke turns into a fish and cat to more dramatic tales about the growing romantic relationships between the characters. One of the highlights of the age of zany 80s romantic anime comedies, this is a series that almost everyone will enjoy to some respect. Rounding off the entire release is the movie, a poignant and heartwarming production that focuses on the trials and rewards of young love. Fleshed out by the touching music and the careful storytelling, the movie is one of the best incarnations of KOR ever made. If romantic comedies are your thing, then this is a release you simply cannot live without.

Super Gals Vol. #04
ADV Films 100 min. 4 $29.98 01/20/2004

Since episode one, Super GALS! has been gushing with energy, but in this DVD, things change up a bit as the vivacity turns itself in the direction of relationships and characters' pasts. All the comedy that's been so prevalent in the earlier volumes takes somewhat of a backseat as angst and teen drama pour onto the set. While Mami continues to pester Ran with her hopes of taking over Shibuya, things snowball into a winner-take-all contest at an indoor ski slope. Even with frivolous events like this still dotting the series, the remains focused on the growing relationships. Whether it's the unrequited desire Yuya has for Ran, the shy crush Aya has on Otohata, or the romance between Miyu and Ran's brother that finds its roots in her gang-ridden past, this is a drama-filled volume that balances out the sugar of Sugar Gals perfectly. Packed with the vigor that's made the show as fun as it is, this next DVD is crucial to any shoujo fan's anime collection. If you don't add this to your shelf immediately, you'll never be a kogal.

Rental Shelf

s-Cry-ed Vol. #4
Bandai Entertainment 100 min. 4/6 $29.98 01/20/2004

After all the suspense in the first half of the series, culminating in the climactic seismic incident caused by Ryuho and Kazuma, things take an abrupt dive into calmer waters. After much searching, Mimori & co. manage to track down Kazuma and Ryuho, the former in an underground Alter fighting arena, and the latter with Kanami in a struggling village. As both parties toil to figure out what happened, HOLY makes an appearance again and tries to bring Ryuho back with them. The non-existent transition between the incident and what's happening now makes things rather awkward, but s-CRY-ed fans should have no problem leaping back into the story to figure out some answers. In comparison to the action-oriented first half of the series, this volume may puzzle and bore some viewers, but what it loses in action it picks up in character building. Giving viewers the opportunity to see different sides of many of the characters, this is a good start to the finale that is fast approaching.

Final Fantasy Unlimited Vol. #3
ADV Films 100 min. 3/6 $24.98 01/20/2004

Chocobos are one of the cutest things on the entire planet, next to maybe panda bears and collies. In that respect, the third volume of FFU is awesome beyond comparison because there's an episode devoted almost entirely to chocobo racing and those cute feathered things. But take that out and you have another 75 minutes of roundabout nonsense that brings you back right where you started. After hitting the midpoint of the series, Yu and Ai are still looking for their parents and fighting random encounters wherever they go. On the positive side, those who enjoy the Final Fantasy games for their fascinating environments and town inhabitants will get a kick out of the different places the two kids find themselves at. The people they come across are certainly interesting and help give the series some of the flare that it's otherwise missing. So far the show still feels like watching a friend walk around leveling his characters, but with all the cool things to look at and the chocobos to play with, this may pique the interest of some Square nuts out there.

Nuku Nuku Dash Vol. #3
ADV Films 100 min. 3/3 $29.98 01/20/2004

As the series gallops down the final stretch, everything rushes into place, much to the downfall of the show. Everything up until this point has been kind of fun as the characters have had time to flesh out a bit, but apparently the producers looked at the schedule, realized they were nearing the end, and threw all of their plans into the last four episodes in a haphazard dash for the wire. The new president of Mishima Industry has a lot of goals (and Nuku Nuku is usually involved), but everything is thrown at the viewers all at the same time. Things start attacking, Nuku's sister is brought out, and every question you ever had about the series is hurriedly answered in the last few episodes. For fans of Nuku Nuku, this will be an adequate ending for the series, but had they the budget, it would've been nicer if the ending was extended over more episodes. As it stands, everything is a bit rushed, spending all of the episodes on action and answering questions instead of slowing down to explore some of the emotions the characters may be feeling. If you've been following the show, you might want to see how it ends, but I'd recommend just a rental first.

No perishable items today, but thanks for reading!

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