April 15th - April 21st
by Brian Hanson,
Perhaps it's just the arid, sun-bleached desert heat affecting my brain, or perhaps all the ranting on display in last week's column made me realize something. At least shows like Rurouni Kenshin, Case Closed, and others actually made it to air. Each year, dozens of high-profile and low-profile anime series alike are pitched rather vehemently at broadcasters, and each year many of those shows get passed over merely to spend the rest of their days warming the DVD shelves at Suncoast. So what about those shows that should be on TV, but for whatever reason, aren't? In no particular order, here are some of those anime series that have all the necessary ingredients to be a televised success, except, of course, for a home.
(Oh, and to pre-emptively put the kibosh on comments like “well why didn't 'Blue Gender' make your list I loved that show they should've never taken it off,” or “why not mention [insert big new show that is currently airing in Japan and being fansubbed to hell and back].” I'm only going to mention series that have been licensed and have yet to air on any network. Not to be smarmy or anything, I swear.)
The manga is only perhaps the best-selling graphic novel of recent memory, with a devoted fan-base that covers both genders and multiple age ranges. Not to mention the great dub Funimation gave the animated adaptation. “Shojo” series are unfortunately something of a dirty word in TV land – with the exception of “magical girl” shows like Sailor Moon or Magical DoReMi, what was the last big shojo title to make it to air? Yeah.
His and Her Circumstances
Kim Manning of Adult Swim once offhandedly mentioned that should the network ever look into “romantic comedies,” Kare Kano aka His and Her Circumstances would definitely be the series they'd get. Unfortunately, the likelihood of them ever doing so is virtually nil. The likelihood of any other network doing so is so far beyond nil, it creates a supernova of impossibility where not even the tiniest shred of opportunity can escape.
Numerous factors are working against this show even being released on DVD, much less appearing on TV. Chief among them were the show's weak ratings on Japanese television, which is unfortunate given that Gundam X happens to be the most underrated of all the Gundam outings, and, dare I say it, probably the best of the AU Gundam timeline. (That's “Alternative Universe” for all you damn kids out there.) Despite being far more action-oriented than the exposition-fest that is Gundam SEED, Bandai was understandably desperate to get the newer series and its accompanying toy line out the pipeline first. Note that now Gundam SEED has disappeared from its 5:00am Saturday morning “death slot” on Cartoon Network, as well as the lack of any announcement regarding the TV broadcast of Gundam SEED Destiny.
Hare + Guu
I've come up with a surefire plan to get the wonderfully funny Hare + Guu on the air: we'll bill it as an “action-comedy”! In fact, that should be done with all the other shows on this list, seeing as that's all broadcasters feel comfortable with as far as anime goes. Kare Kano? That's an action-romantic-comedy-drama. Fruits Basket? Action-Zodiac-animal-curse-comedy-drama. It's unfortunate, but “anime comedies” are too often seen as a misnomer among the broadcast circles, and while some of its content would be too much for a Saturday morning kiddie block, it's certainly not in the realm of, say, Excel Saga's level of depravity, which makes it a hard sell either way.
Now here's a situation where the dub was clearly made for a young televised audience, yet it seems once again the TV networks didn't feel comfortable airing a series made for a (mostly) female demographic. A shame, as all the work Funimation put in to the English adaptation will instead go to such waste. Unless, by some strange miracle, Funimation's recently-launched “Funimation Channel” venture becomes an overnight success. Here's hopin'.
So while my head is busy swimming of the possibility of what could have been, let's take a look this week at what actually is. Starting with...
Eureka 7 - Series Premiere!
Sunday April 16 12:00am - Episode 1 "Blue Monday" (Repeats Sun Apr 16 3:00am)
In all honesty, I'm highlighting Eureka 7's premiere more out of spite than anything. Adult Swim, it seems, would rather spend their promotion budget informing their audience of a two-week “Saved by the Bell” run than let them know about their newest big-budget anime acquisition. So everyone, tune in to Eureka 7 this weekend, enjoy the slick, colorful animation and all the windsurfin' Giant Mecha jargon, and be sure to visit the Adult Swim official message boards and post “Eureka Rulz, Bayside Droolz.” It's also a pretty good show, too.
-Saturday April 15 10:00pm - Episode 25 "The New Bo-bobo With the Old Bo-boBody!"
Does anybody seriously care about the plot synopsis for Bo-bobo? Chances are at least 80% of the episode will have little to do with it regardless. I can probably be just as accurate by making up my own. Ahem: This week, Bo-bobo discusses his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff to the grand jury. Later, Bo-bobo flies a kite. Made of ham.
-Friday April 21 10:30pm - Episode 3 "Beware of Idols"
After about the third or fourth grisly murder to happen around young Conan, one would think people would catch on to the fact that the little kid's a magnet for death. Until then, watch as Conan uncovers some literal skeletons in the closet of one of TV's biggest stars.
-Friday April 21 9:00pm - Episode 10 "Horn"
Aion confronts Joshua and delivers to him Chrono's horns. But at what price? You'll just have to see for yourself. With your eyes.
-Friday April 21 10:00pm - Episode 8 "The Philosopher's Stone" (Repeats Sat Apr 22 1:00am)
Mix Ed and Al plus Al's anguish over the loss of Nina plus Winry plus psychotic serial killer, bake for 23 minutes, cool, and you have this week's new FMA episode. In Canada, anyway.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
-Sunday April 16 12:30am - Episode 20 "Fabricate Fog" (Repeats Sun Apr 16 3:30am)
While on the hunt for Kuze, the Major uncovers an especially incriminating floppy from a corpse that leads them to a politically volatile plutonium transaction. Is it terribly crass of me to much prefer watching this show with the fart noises Adult Swim added during April Fools'? No, of course it is.
-Wednesday April 19 12:30am - Episode 142 "3000 Leagues in Search of Father" (Repeats Wed Apr 19 4:00am)
This episode features the totally original plot wherein Inuyasha and his ragtag group of followers wander into a village only to discover it is under siege by a headless demon. Oh no! (Hint: read carefully for sarcasm!)
-Friday April 21 9:00pm - Episode 137 "An Ancestor Named Kagome" (Repeats Sat Apr 22 2:30am)
Kagome discovers the ancestor of her beau from Modern Times, Hojo, is married to another Kagome. Or is it the same Kagome? Perhaps all those trips down the well finally stretched the time-space continuum to its breaking point, Little Miss “I Haven't Seen Back to the Future Enough Times to Understand the Dangers of Time Travel.” Sheesh.
-Saturday April 15 8:30pm - Episode 27 "The Chunin Exam Stage 2: The Forest of Death"
-Saturday April 15 9:00pm - Episode 28 "Eat or Be Eaten: Panic in the Forest"
-Saturday April 15 9:30pm - Episode 29 "Naruto's Counterattack: Never Give In"
That's one-point-five hours of all new Naruto. Still not enough to catch up to those darn Canadians, but at least the gap is closing. Anyway, Kakashi's band of pre-pubescent ninjas run afoul of some especially dangerous ninja from the Village Hidden in Sound, not to mention the appearance of a certain snake-like villain.
-Friday April 21 8:00pm - Episode 32 "Sakura Blossoms!" (Repeats Sat Apr 22 2:00am)
“Sakura!” is the big word in the mystical land of Canada this week, as Sakura proves her viability in the team by taking on the powerful Sound Ninjas in the wake of the predisposed Sasuke and Naruto.
-Saturday April 15 10:00am - Episode 404 "The Right Place at the Right Mime"
-Saturday April 15 10:30am - Episode 405 "A Real Cleffa-Hanger!"
In what is perhaps a cheap ploy for the animators to reuse backgrounds from earlier episodes, Ash and his crew return to their home town to revisit friends and family. Punch is served, laughs are had, et cetera.
(Independent Film Channel)
-Saturday April 15 10:30pm - Episode 3 "The Entertainer" (Repeats Sun Apr 16 1:30am, Thu Apr 20 11:30pm, Fri Apr 21 2:30am)
After Kambei becomes the first samurai recruited for Kirara's help, they run afoul of a mysterious street entertainer named Gorobei with a potentially fatal game. You know, as great a filmmaker as Kurosawa was, his films were always missing one important piece: Robot samurai. Glad to see that one fixed up.
-Saturday April 15 10:00am - Episode "Angel of Mischief"
Sonic and the others are in danger, and the only way out involves sacrificing the Master Emerald! Unfortunately, it's past 10 pm, and all the pawn shops are closed.
-Saturday April 15 7:00pm - Episode 32 "Balance"
Primus, the transformer who doubles as a planet, speaks in a very mystical-sounding voice about his exceedingly mystical past. All this week, in an altogether mystical episode!
-Saturday April 15 11:30am - Episode 216 "The Dark One Cometh, Part 2"
At what part of this five-part episodes does “The Dark One” actually COME? Check to see if it happens in Part 2, this Saturday morning! Meanwhile, I need to figure out why Zap2it and others still have Yu-Gi-Oh still listed as a rerun...
-Friday April 21 6:00pm - Episode 31 "Field of Screams, Part 1"
In this episode, Jaden is terrified that, weakened from his previous battle, he may be unable to defeat the next member of the “Seven Stars.” Perhaps more terrifying than that, however, are some of the notes for this episode. For example, “Doctor Crowler has a PhD. in Dueling, meaning he had to study nine years at Duel Academy to get his doctorate and official title as Doctor Crowler.” Nine YEARS? Good God, imagine the massive student loan debt that poor animated character must have.
-Friday April 21 8:30pm - Episode 30 "Zatch and Tia: A Fierce Combination"
Zatch and Tia fiercely combine to fiercely combat the evil Mamodo gang that holds their precious Amusement Park hostage. Watch this week as Zatch and Tia fight for the honor of smelly Carnies everywhere!
WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3
Friday April 21 2:30pm (Repeats Fri Apr 21 10:00pm)
Wasn't this on two weeks ago? Why, yes. In case you missed it the first time:
“Mamoru Oshii's Patlabor movies were slow-paced, thoughtful detective stories as opposed to the wacky action-comedy mecha series upon which they were based, and this recent update continues that trend. Detectives Kusumi and Hata start with a routine case of massive Labor malfunctions, and wind up with a dizzying thread of government cover-ups, conspiracies, and biological weapons.”
I suppose that's all the new fun I have for this week, although plenty of not-so-new fun is listed below. I'll see you all next week! Provided the arid desert “spring” doesn't melt my skin off in a gruesome fashion.
-Sat Apr 15 7:30am - Episode 11 "Monkey Business" (R Sat Apr 15 2:00pm)
-Tue Apr 18 3:30pm - Episode 5 "Gray and the Blues"
-Thu Apr 20 3:30pm - Episode 6 "Yamato & Terry's Excellent Adventure"
-Fri Apr 21 6:00am - Episode 15 "The Good, the Bad and the B-DaPlayer"
-Sat Apr 15 2:30am - Episode 51 "Final Showdown"
-Mon Apr 17 9:30pm - Episode 52 "Shot Down in Flames" (R Tue Apr 18 2:30am)
-Tue Apr 18 9:30pm - Episode 53 "Search for Mr. X" (R Wed Apr 19 2:30am)
-Wed Apr 19 9:30pm - Episode 54 "Unseen and Unleashed" (R Thu Apr 20 2:30am)
-Thu Apr 20 9:30pm - Episode 55 "Searching for Dragoon" (R Fri Apr 21 2:30am)
-Fri Apr 21 9:30pm - Episode 56 "Guess Who's Back in Town" (R Sat Apr 22 2:30am)
-Sat Apr 15 5:30am - Episode 118 "Fire and Water"
-Sat Apr 15 1:00pm - Episode 6 "Dragoon Storm"
-Tue Apr 18 5:30am - Episode 119 "Same Old Dirty Tricks"
-Wed Apr 19 5:30am - Episode 120 "Beyblade Like an Egyptian"
-Thu Apr 20 5:30am - Episode 121 "One for All... Free for All"
-Fri Apr 21 5:30am - Episode 122 "Burdens of a Champion"
-Mon Apr 17 12:00am - Episode 9 "Joshua" (R Fri Apr 21 12:00am)
-Sun Apr 16 1:30am - Episode 15 "My Funny Valentine" (R Sun Apr 16 4:30am)
-Fri Apr 21 12:30am - Episode 6 "Sympathy for the Devil" (R Fri Apr 21 4:00am)
-Sat Apr 15 2:30pm - Episode 3 "Race Through the Plasma Blizzard"
-Fri Apr 21 6:30pm - Episode 4 "Countdown to Impact"
-Sat Apr 15 7:00am - Episode 32 "Gatomon Comes Calling"
-Sun Apr 16 7:00am - Episode 33 "Out on the Town"
-Sat Apr 15 9:00pm - Episode 172 "Bizarre Bazaar" (R Sun Apr 16 2:00am)
-Sun Apr 16 9:00pm - Episode 173 "Trailmon vs. Trailmon" (R Mon Apr 17 2:00am)
-Tue Apr 18 7:30pm - Episode 157 "Lobomon: Warrior of Light" (R Wed Apr 19 12:30am)
-Tue Apr 18 10:00pm - Episode 21 "Home Away From Home" (R Wed Apr 19 3:00am)
-Wed Apr 19 7:30pm - Episode 158 "Kumamon Baby Light My Fire" (R Thu Apr 20 12:30am)
-Wed Apr 19 10:00pm - Episode 22 "Forget About It!" (R Thu Apr 20 3:00am)
-Thu Apr 20 7:30pm - Episode 159 "Kazemon Kicks It" (R Fri Apr 21 12:30am)
-Thu Apr 20 10:00pm - Episode 23 "Weregarurumon's Diner" (R Fri Apr 21 3:00am)
Dragon Ball GT
-Sat Apr 15 3:30am - Episode 42 "Number One Under the Sun... Who is Hercule's Successor?"
Dragon Ball Z
-Sat Apr 15 7:30pm - Episode 90 "Mighty Blast of Rage"
-Sat Apr 15 11:30pm - Episode 4 "A Forger's Love" (R Sun Apr 16 2:30am)
-Tue Apr 18 12:30am - Episode 35 "Reunion of the Fallen" (R Tue Apr 18 4:00am)
G.I. Joe Sigma Six
-Sat Apr 15 10:30am - Episode 5 "Sigma"
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
-Sat Apr 15 12:00am - Episode 4 "Intercepter"
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
-Thu Apr 20 12:30am - Episode 6 "Excavation" (R Thu Apr 20 4:00am)
-Fri Apr 21 9:30pm - Episode 33 "Gathering Darkness" (R Sat Apr 22 1:30am)
-Sat Apr 15 11:00pm - Episode 131 "Trap of the Cursed Wall Hanging"
-Sun Apr 16 2:00am - Episode 127 "Don't Boil It! The Terrifying Dried-Up Demon"
-Sat Apr 15 7:00am - Episode 9 "A Runaway Fairy"
-Sat Apr 15 7:30am - Episode 10 "Trouble in Store"
Mew Mew Power
-Sun Apr 16 7:30am - Episode 2 "The Mew Kid in Town"
-Sat Apr 15 8:00pm - Episode 26 "Special Report: Live From the Forest of Death"
-Fri Apr 14 8:00pm - Episode 31 "Bushy Brow's Pledge: Undying Love and Protection" (R Sat Apr 15 2:00am)
Neon Genesis Evangelion
-Sun Apr 16 1:00am - Episode 24 "The Beginning and the End" (R Sun Apr 16 4:00am)
-Mon Apr 17 10:00pm - Episode 12 "The Black Cat Pirates"
-Tue Apr 18 10:00pm - Episode 13 "Good Pirates vs. Bad Pirates"
-Wed Apr 19 10:00pm - Episode 14 "The Purr-fect Plan"
-Thu Apr 20 10:00pm - Episode 15 "The Long Arm of the Claw"
-Sat Apr 15 4:00am - Episode 29 "The New Crew"
-Tue Apr 18 5:00am - Episode 337 "Gulpin it Down"
-Wed Apr 19 5:00am - Episode 338 "Exploud and Clear"
-Thu Apr 19 5:00am - Episode 339 "Go Go Ludicolo!"
-Fri Apr 20 5:00am - Episode 340 "A Double Dilemma"
-Sat Apr 15 5:00am - Episode 14 "Celebi and Joy!"
(Independant Film Channel)
-Sat Apr 15 9:30am - Episode 1 "The Master"
-Sat Apr 15 10:00am - Episode 2 "The Pupil"
-Tue Apr 18 1:00am - Episode 25 "Evanescent Encounter, Part 2" (R Tue Apr 18 4:30am)
-Wed Apr 19 1:00am - Episode 26 "Evanescent Encounter, Part 3" (R Wed Apr 19 4:30am)
-Thu Apr 20 1:00am - Episode 1 "Tempestuous Temperaments" (R Thu Apr 20 4:30am)
-Fri Apr 21 1:00am - Episode 2 "Redeye Reprisal" (R Fri Apr 21 4:30am)
-Sat Apr 8 12:30pm - Episode 8 "The Rio Deal"
Street Fighter II V
-Sat Apr 15 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Sun Apr 16 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Sun Apr 16 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Mon Apr 17 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Mon Apr 17 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Tue Apr 18 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Tue Apr 18 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Wed Apr 19 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Wed Apr 19 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Thu Apr 20 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Thu Apr 20 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Fri Apr 21 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Fri Apr 21 4:30pm - Episode TBA (R Sat Apr 22 1:30am, 6:30am)
-Mon Apr 17 6:00am - Episode 25 "Retreat"
-Tue Apr 18 6:00am - Episode 26 "Revelations"
-Wed Apr 19 6:00am - Episode 27 "Critical"
-Thu Apr 20 6:00am - Episode 28 "Assault"
-Sat Apr 15 1:30pm - Episode 38 "Warp"
-Fri Apr 21 7:00pm - Episode TBA (R Sat Apr 22 3:00am)
-Tue Apr 18 1:30am - Episode 25 "Live Through" (R Tue Apr 18 5:00am)
-Wed Apr 19 1:30am - Episode 26 "Under the Sky So Blue" (R Wed Apr 19 5:00am)
-Thu Apr 20 1:30am - Episode 1 "The $$60,000,000,000 Man" (R Thu Apr 20 5:00am)
-Fri Apr 21 1:30am - Episode 2 "Truth of Mistake" (R Fri Apr 21 5:00am)
-Sat Apr 15 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Sun Apr 16 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Sun Apr 16 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Mon Apr 17 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Mon Apr 17 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Tue Apr 18 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Tue Apr 18 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Wed Apr 19 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Wed Apr 19 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Thu Apr 20 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Thu Apr 20 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Fri Apr 21 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Fri Apr 21 4:00pm - Episode TBA (R Sat Apr 22 1:00am, 6:00am)
-Sat Apr 15 12:00am - Episode 9 "First Stage: More Barbaric Than Heaven"
-Sat Apr 15 12:30am - Episode 10 "First Stage: White Love"
-Sat Apr 15 1:00am - Episode 11 "First Stage: Together"
-Sat Apr 15 1:30am - Episode 12 "First Stage: They Don't Care About Us"
-Wed Apr 19 12:00am - Episode 13 "First Stage: To Feel the Fire"
-Wed Apr 19 12:30am - Episode 14 "Second Stage: Red Angel"
-Wed Apr 19 1:00am - Episode 15 "Second Stage: Be My Baby"
-Wed Apr 19 1:30am - Episode 16 "Second Stage: Blossoming Path"
-Sat Apr 15 8:00am - Episode 17 "Captain Blue vs. the Squid of Inescapable Doom"
-Sat Apr 15 4:30am - Episode 129 "Clash in the Coliseum, Part 1"
-Sat Apr 15 8:00am - Episode 208 "In Search of a King"
-Tue Apr 18 4:30am - Episode 130 "Clash in the Coliseum, Part 2"
-Wed Apr 19 4:30am - Episode 131 "Clash in the Coliseum, Part 3"
-Thu Apr 20 4:30am - Episode 132 "Clash in the Coliseum, Part 4"
-Fri Apr 21 4:30am - Episode 133 "Clash in the Coliseum, Part 5"
-Mon Apr 17 5:00pm - Episode 50 "Magna Chum Laude"
-Tue Apr 18 5:00pm - Episode 51 "The Graduation Match, Part 1"
-Wed Apr 19 5:00pm - Episode 52 "The Graduation Match, Part 2"
-Thu Apr 20 5:00pm - Episode 29 "Doomsday Duel, Part 1"
-Fri Apr 21 5:00pm - Episode 30 "Doomsday Duel, Part 2"
-Mon Apr 17 4:30pm - Episode 11 "The Invincible Folgore"
-Tue Apr 18 4:30pm - Episode 12 "Sherry's Rhapsody of Life"
-Wed Apr 19 4:30pm - Episode 13 "Rematch: The Zatch and Hyde Meet Again"
-Thu Apr 20 4:30pm - Episode 14 "The Tomboy and the Popstar"
-Fri Apr 21 4:30pm - Episode 15 "A New Pledge Between Zatch and Tia"
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