We’re Back!

maxresdefault[1]As the subject says, Jesse and I have returned to Japan-A-Radio for another season of anime!  After several years of hiatus and a few misfires on bringing the show back, we’re glad that we could get the metaphorical band back together this summer.

Last night, the first episode of the eighth season (801) aired, where we covered the simulcasted anime available on streaming sites, as well as a full dissection and discussion of our featured series, Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon.

We hope that our long-time listeners as well as those who’ve never heard us before today will tune in every week as we espouse our own special brand of humor and insight into the 2017 seasons of anime.  We’re very glad to be back home on Japan-A-Radio, and our thanks to Shon Elliott for his endless assistance in making it happen, we couldn’t do this without him.

Next week, we’ll be covering Youjo Senki, so please come back next Wednesday night to hear episode 802!

Farewell ADV, we hardly knew ye…

ADVFilmsAnnounced on ADVFilms’ website today, was a static press release announcing the completion of the transfer of its assets to different companies.  The ADV library was sold to AEsir Holdings, LLC, while the distribution rights for that library were sold concurrently to SXION 23.  The Anime Network is now a subsidiary of Valkyrie Media Partners.

Those of us who grew up watching AD Vision remember their debut on the scene with the memorable Mamono Hunter Yohko, but I will always remember such titles as Bannou Bunka Neko Musume Nuku-Nuku and Kido Senkan Nadesico, and who could forget their big budget rollout of Shin Seiki Evangelion.  As the ADV label has now officially gone the way of Geneon/Pioneer LDC, I will continue to prize their products within my DVD library and now I’ll be hunting for used DVDs on eBay and Amazon.com.

I guess I’ll say what everyone else is thinking: Who’s next?

Post your memories of ADV titles in the comments.

Champions Online Reinstates Lifetime Subscriptions Deal; Players Are Not SOL

Update

As of August 26, 2009, 10pm PDT: Cryptic and Atari have reinstated the discounted subscriptions.

Original Entry

Cryptic Studios, the developers of the upcoming superhero-based MMORPG, Champions Online, announced yesterday that all of the discounted Lifetime Subscriptions and 6-month Subscriptions were sold out and they would not be permitting any further purchases.  This came after a post on their website that there were only 1,000 Lifetime Subscriptions left and 500 6-month Subscriptions before they would be sold out.  Their previous announced deadline was September 1st, but also included the line about supplies being limited, though neither Cryptic nor Atari (the producing studio) has admitted what the total numbers were for the sale.  This announcement subsequently enraged those players who were waiting until payday or for reasons unknown to the last minute to pull the trigger.

For posterity, the different subscriptions offered the following perquisites:

6-Month Discounted Subscriptions:

  • Price: $59.99 USD, $65.99 CAN, €44.99 EUR, and £35.99 GBP
  • Saves $29.95 USD (33% off!) over regular monthly subscription!
  • Retro Future costume set
  • Access to the Star Trek Online Closed Beta, beginning later this year!

Lifetime Subscriptions:

  • Price: $199.99 USD, $219.99 CAN, €147.99 EUR, and £119.99 GBP
  • Access to the Star Trek Online Closed Beta, beginning later this year!
  • Exclusive Art Deco costume set, available only to lifetime subscribers
  • Retro Future costume set
  • Unique Mirror Universe outfit for Star Trek Online, available at the game’s release
  • Exclusive in-game Foxbat action figure, available only to lifetime subscribers
  • Eight additional character slots!

Having been a fan of the MMORPG genre since the early days of MUDs and joining the GUI-based games in 1999 with EverQuest, I’m no stranger to the wild and craziness of pay-for-play online games.  I’ve carved a path from EQ to Anarchy Online to Dark Age of Camelot to the late, great Earth & Beyond to World of Warcraft to City of Heroes and beyond.  I’ve actually dropped all of my subscriptions except CoH/CoV and have been really looking forward to Champion Online so much so that I’ve been playing the Open Beta event after a lengthy 2GB+ download from FileFront.com.  After playing the Open Beta for an hour, I pulled the trigger on a Lifetime Sub immediately.  As a lifelong Trekker who’s been dying for Star Trek Online since 2006 during the Perpetual Entertainment debacle, it was a no brainer to suck it up and nab it ASAP.  Offering the STO Beta was pure genius, but I’m guessing that they were counting on the rabid Trek fanbase (carrying their massive disposable income with them) to eat up every subscription in short order.

Obviously I had some disposable income to play around with, but not everyone did.  But now all I’m reading on the forums is a long list of players who’re swearing up and down to cancel their pre-orders (impossible if they used the beta code that came with it).  So much so, that the Cryptic online community moderators are passing up a suggestion from many of those raging players to at least offer the discounts to those who pre-ordered, without the STO Beta offer.

My opinion on this is pretty simple: As with everything else, you snooze, you lose.  I’m not indifferent to the notion of not having the money, but if a car dealership offers a sweet deal on a ride you want so bad it hurts and every model of that car sells out in the first day of the sale before you get to the lot with your money in hand… do you blame the dealership or do you just taste the bitter regret in the back of your throat that you didn’t camp that bitch the night before?  How bad do you want it?!  The early bird always gets the worm.  And if you can’t afford it, then you’re probably better off just paying for the monthly or maybe the not-so-discounted 6-month offer at 17 dollars more.

By the way, if you’re looking for a review of Champions Online?  In one word: Awesome.

Publisher: Cryptic Studios/Atari
Platform: PC and 360
Release Date: 9/1/09 (US-PC), 9/10/09 (AUS-PC), TBA (360)
Price: $49.99 box plus 30-days free, $14.99 per month thereafter.
http://www.champions-online.com

Bubblegum Crisis

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The 80s were a simpler time. You had girls in mechanical suits...

From the Unwound archives. Way back in the days of my budding anime fandom, a dear friend of min pulled me aside and said he had something to show me. It was called ‘Bubblegum Crisis,’ and he was positive that I would enjoy it. Now, of course, I had my doubts as to the veracity of his claim. After all, it was kind of a ridiculously absurd name and did not really pique my interest all that much. In response, he simply told me to ignore the name and try not to judge an anime based on the title. I was too tired to put up much of a fight, and after work we ended up at his place and settled in for an afternoon of anime watching.

Yeah, I was taught a rather valuable lesson that day. Had I gone with my instincts of begging off, I would not be the same person I am today. I think, along with many other early titles I watched, Bubblegum Crisis is a staple of anime fandom. At least, it’s a staple of mine. I’m not talking about the remake from Pioneer/Geneon, either. I’m talking about the late 80s produced original, where you could tell it was all hand-drawn and not computer-assisted. along with classics like Urusei Yatsura, Macross, Yamato, Gatchaman, and many others, BGC is a must-see for any anime fan out there. It’s a common frame of reference, a point of contention between fans over what constitutes a bad dub, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re punched right out of the conversation, I guarantee you.

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gaudy yet awesome outfits, ...

What’s BGC about? Four women battle against the out-of-control creations of the Genom corporation: one driven by revenge, one driven by boredom, one driven by excitement, and one driven by loyalty. Led by Miss Sylia Stingray, the Knight Sabers band together to crusade against the injustice of androids with too much power. Underground singer Priss Asagiri, Linna Yamazaki, and police data specialist Nene Romanova round out the group, wearing Stingray-designed hardsuits and kicking some serious Boomer ass through eight episodes of OVA goodness.

Can you sense my enthusiasm? Good.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this series. It delivers action, romance, drama, and a memorable soundtrack the likes of which has never been reproduced. Every character shows a level of depth that you really only got to see in much longer series. What a story like BGC, it would take a series such as Full Metal Panic or Gundam much more than eight episodes to provide you with a clear background, and even then it took Crash to really screw the pooch. Which in a sense was an additional three episodes to the story, but you see how perfect the eight was? It really didn’t even need the full eleven, right? See?

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... and big hair.

Though… Crash had good music. What is it with all these series that are bad, but have kickass OSTs?

Not that BGC was any slouch in the OST department. Quite possibly the most recognizable set of vocal tracks in anime history belongs to this series, which includes the perennial Konya wa Hurricane and my personal favorite, Bye, Bye, My Crisis. The latter of which is just a fun song to chairdance to. Also, it took me forever to find the music in the pre-Complete Vocal Collection days. I could write a full review on the music, itself, so I’ll cut myself short here. The bottom line is, if you haven’t yet watched this series, then crawl out from underneath your rock and get thee hence!