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Shelf Life
Vampire Nonsense

by Bamboo Dong,
Nan Desu Kan is right around the corner, and by the time my next column is up, I'll be basking in the high-altitude atmosphere of my home state. Over the years, I've been to plenty of huge conventions, ranging from the gargantuan AXs and Otakons to the wicked huge E3, but there's something nostalgic about going to small conventions, especially if a particular con was your first. If anyone of you are heading to the Mile High state that weekend and want to meet up with your fellow ANN readers, head on over to our Events forum. Hope to see you in Denver!

Welcome to Shelf Life.

Eureka 7 DVD 3
Bandai 100 min. 3/? $24.98 08/22/2006
Eureka 7 DVD 3 - Special Edition + Tshirt
Bandai 100 min. 3/? $39.98 08/22/2006

With so many giant robot shows out there, originality is key. Sporting surfing robots, trippy dream sequences, and more than enough secrets, Eureka 7 is one of the more engaging mecha shows out there. In the third volume, both the military and GekkōState find themselves lunging towards something called a Coralian, a giant cloud whose trapar waves are as deadly as they are plentiful. Renton and Eureka are ready to plunge right in, but they're met by an enemy KLF piloted by a strange girl. What follows only raises more questions about the LFOs and everything surrounding them, which will undoubtedly deliver enough momentum for several more episodes. Whether you've been watching this show on the Cartoon Network or you're fresh to the property, this is a title that almost any robot fan would enjoy.

Ninja Nonsense DVD 2 - Psychedelic Summer
TRSI 90 min. 2/? $29.99 09/26/2006

It's manic, it's random, it's full of crude comedy… and frankly, it's totally funny—assuming you like helter-skelter ribaldry. If your tastes skew a little more refined, then this is completely not for you. Shinobi is trying her hardest to become a ninja, but it's a little hard when her teacher is a flying yellow ball named Onsakumaru. The real star of the show, Onsakumaru is obsessed with breasts, panties, and just about anything that could connotate sex (I told you it was crude.). Continuing the tradition of random sex jokes and non sequitur one-liners, the second volume follows the characters through typhoons, psychedelic mushrooms, and plenty of bathing suit opportunities. Unless you have the attention span of a goldfish, this show probably won't entertain you for more than a couple episodes at a time, but if you're just looking for a quick, surefire laugh, Ninja Nonsense will have you rolling.

Trinity Blood DVD 1
Funimation 100 min. 1/? $29.98 09/05/2006
Trinity Blood DVD 1 - Limited Edition + Box
Funimation 100 min. 1/? $39.98 09/05/2006

Vampires are pretty awesome. They always look cool, they're almost always badass, and they lend a dark, gloomy atmosphere to any show. Trinity Blood continues that legacy of sultry fanged beings, painting a world where vampires and humans totter on a tender balance between tension and war, with several organizations hard at work on both sides. The story has great potential, but the problem is, the show doesn't really utilize it. The series is so intent on maintaining a sense of sinister and foreboding that everything ends up being slow, from the actions, to the events, to the actual dialogue. One big thing to be commended about the series, however, is its cast of characters. All of them have aspects that make them fun to watch, like the main character, Abel Nightroad, a traveling Catholic priest who happens to be a Crusnik, a vampire that feeds off the blood of other vampires. His dual-sided nature makes him entertaining to watch, but as with the other characters, his traits are offset by the lethargic pacing of the series. Hopefully the series will get better over time; the first disc is a little underwhelming.

Green Green DVD 2 - Nature Girls
Media Blasters 100 min. 2/? $19.95 08/29/2006

This show is a bore. I have a hunch it's either supposed to be really funny, really arousing, really cute, really romantic, or a strange amalgamation of all of the above, culminating in one of those “I wish school was like this!!” series. Instead, Green Green is just really awkward and drab. This volume, in particular, gave me some serious shudders, between staring at testicles bulging under women's panties, and seeing three sweaty men hump each other. For some people, this could very well be the pinnacle of laughs, but it's so awkward that you can't help but close your eyes and wish that it would go away. Like with the first volume, the second disc continues its odd take on romantic comedies, with clueless men chasing frightened girls and all the girls slowly gravitating towards the one normal male. Still, despite how annoying and disturbing the males are, they're undoubtedly the highlight of the show (unless you're watching it for the nipples). Their naked antics are embarrassing and drag on for far too long, but if it weren't or that, the show would be dryer than a scorching highway. Unless you don't mind seeing a lot of twisted sausage fests betwixt all the fanservice, I don't really recommend this show.

Baki the Grappler DVD 9 - Illegal Tactics
Funimation 100 min. 9/12 $24.98 09/05/2006

How is it possible that a series comprised entirely out of action scenes can be such a drag? Could it be because that's all it's been for the past few discs? It's one thing to have a series saturated in action—it's another thing entirely to have nothing but punching episode after episode. Baki is still chilling out in the grappling competition, but unlike most series, where the camera kind of montages past everyone else and just focuses on the main character, this show has decided to show every single fight. This means that no only did the show get really old several episodes ago (what with all the punching and blood-spurting set to terrible synth beats), viewers have practically zero investment in any of the dozens of characters. Meaty-Head #4 fell to Karate-Thug #8. Pity. At this point, I can't imagine anyone wanting to own this series; what possible re-watch value could it possibly have? Maybe I'm not manly enough to “get it.”

All About Our House
Geneon 115 min. 1/1 $29.98

It's always refreshing to see a movie that doesn't have to rely on big explosions or sappy love scenes—to see a movie that can be charming just for the sake of being charming. All About Our House is one such film, a quiet, gentle film that talks about classic themes like generational head-butting, old vs. new, and respect. A married couple has finally bought a plot of land and have hired an old college friend to design a modernistic house. The contracting has been left up to the woman's father, who is convinced that he knows everything about architecture and design. Between all the bickering and trying to please everyone, it'll be a miracle if the house gets built at all. Although the story doesn't sound that compelling, it makes a great base for the film and the characters' reactions. Each character has his/her specific role, and watching each person try desperately to fit into the overall picture is most of the fun. Geneon has been doing a great job of releasing strong Japanese films, and All About Our House is another example of it. This is a feel-good movie well worth watching.

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