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Puni Puni Poemy
Puni Puni Poemy
DVD ~ Cynthia Martinez
5 used & new from CDN$ 9.51

3.0 out of 5 stars Nabeshin parodies... parodies?, Feb. 22 2004
This review is from: Puni Puni Poemy (DVD)
While this is billed as a "sequel" to Excel Saga, the truth is, the only characters in Puni Puni Poemi (the correct spelling of the title) that came over from Excel Saga were Nabeshin (Director Shinichi Watanabe's alter ego) and his wife Kumi Kumi who had a small role in the series. It parodies magical girl anime (see the opening scene with a battle between Magical Girls), hero teams, anime porn and other things.
The main problem is that they quickly run out of things to parody, and turn to poor taste (they push the limits of the 17+ rating imposed by ADV). By the time of the second episode, they really have nothing much to make fun of except the anime industry itself. It probably would have been more sucessful as a 45 minute single episode than as 2 30 minute episodes.

Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know
Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know
by Gilles Poitras
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Factually Inaccurate, Possibly Deliberate, Dec 31 2003
I was a big fan of the author's "Anime Companion," so I was excited when this book came out. However, it fails to live up to its promise to assist newcomers, parents and so forth. While it does have some information that is useful to a new anime fan, I find that as something to help parents make an informed decision, the book fails.
The problem is, the author can't bring himself to talk about the darker aspects of anime frankly. Hence when he offers some warnings about popular series and gets to "Tenchi Muyo" (aka "No Need for Tenchi"), he issues a warning to parents: "Some Characters end up fighting to save others." The problem is, the issue most parents would have with the uncut series in question is the flagrant nudity, which goes completely unmentioned. Also, he cites McCarthy and Clement's "Erotic Anime Movie Guide" with its limited listing of movies as a proof that Japan doesn't have much anime porn. However, he fails to admit that Clements and Mccarthy quite clearly state that the section was not meant to be exhaustive. This makes the book come off sounding deceptive. Therefore one becomes troubled when he says that when parents see something like Violence or nudity in an anime, they shouldn't just turn it off, but rather discuss it with their children. Imagine applying that advice to a kid caught watching "Robocop" or "Debbie Does Dallas."

Erotic Anime Movie Guide
Erotic Anime Movie Guide
by Helen Mccarthy
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 4.53

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Sex Please, We're British (Says the BBFC), Dec 30 2003
Anime fans frequently praise this book as an explanation of the sexuality in anime. This is a COMPLETE AND TOTAL misunderstanding of what this book is. In truth, this book is a work of apologetics against the "sex and tentacles" reputation that anime has in Great Britain-- the residence of the authors.
The key to understanding this book is the chapter on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) which must rate and evaluate every movie that is released in the UK. If the film contains content that is deemed too explicit, the film must either accept cuts or be banned from being shown in the UK. Anime, particularly the adult titles that came out in the early days of the anime explosion, tended to require frequent cuts (Johnathan Clements translated some anime titles for the UK, which the BBFC cut or banned. This may explain his venom in the chapters he wrote).
All the other chapters center around the fact that anime has a bad reputation in the UK. This history (which gets some facts wrong) is meant to say to the British reader: The Japanese are not a nation of sexual perverts. The discussion of certain series (notably Urutsukidoji) are meant to inform the British reader what actually happened in the stories as opposed to the distorted rumors that were going around the country. The movie section gives a selection of titles (which is NOT intended by them to be exhaustive) meant to show the British reader that not all anime is porn.
The book has problems. First, is their ludicrous attempt to explain away the fact that some anime sexualizes minors. They claim that these people wearing school uniforms are actually junior college students and all females that are sexual objects are adults. This is a statement that is irresponsibly false. If they knew it, it is a complete lie. if not, it reflects poorly on their knowledge of Japan. College students don't wear uniforms, and in Japan, up until 1999 (after the time the book was written) the age of consent in Nagoya and Tokyo was 13 and girls could get married at 16. Moreover, the concept of enjo kosai (compensated dating-- a sort of informal prostitution by high school girls) was a factor at the time of their writing, but it goes unmentioned by the authors-- a point that puts a big hole in their argument and hence omitted.
The second major problem is this book was written by some angry people. In fairness, I would not care to live under the BBFC determining what I can watch. However, with anger, clarity and rationality suffers. The book seems vitrolic and frequently fails to come to a point. There are distortions (They imply that two episodes of "Crying Freeman" had so much censored by the BBFC, that the distributor had to put them together on one tape. In actuality, less than one minute was cut from both episodes combined. As a result, their credibility suffers. Also, they seem to operate under a belief that a high quality story that is sexually explicit ought not to be put in the same category as a sleazy porn story. So they classify anime as being mainstream, erotic or porn. The problem is this makes everything relative: Only stuff I *don't* like can be considered porn.
So essentially, the book does not deliver as a rational discussion of erotic anime. It comes off looking more like a 191 page rant against the BBFC.

Anime Explosion!: The What? Why? and Wow! of Japanese Animation
Anime Explosion!: The What? Why? and Wow! of Japanese Animation
by Patrick Drazen
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 1.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Many Words, Few Insights, None Correct, Dec 30 2003
The book appears at first to be an in-depth review of the anime phenomenon and claims to offer insights into the Japanese understanding of the medium. Unfortunately, once one starts asking questions of his assumptions, the whole structure crumbles. This book operates under the fallacy that what you see in anime reflects the values of the Japanese people (just like "South Park" reflects American values, right?), so we get concepts like "yasashii" thrust at us, and claims like "harmony is the most important thing to the Japanese." He overlooks the concept that the Japanese are not a monolithic people and seems to indicate that all the Japanese think alike on an issue.
Actually, the author seems to base his theory that anime is great on the basis that it's not American and his praises of Japan frequently revolve around knocking American moral values (there are quite a few asides to the evils of "conservative America")
Similar to Susan J Napier's book on anime, this book takes the author's preconceived notions and forcs examples to fit them, even when they don't have the meaning he tries to make them convey.
This would be more tolerable if his writing style was not so imperious, giving the impression that these views were solid and immutable facts instead of opinions

Azumanga Daioh Volume 1
Azumanga Daioh Volume 1
by Kiyohiko Azuma
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly mishandled, Nov. 5 2003
Having seen rudimentary translations of the anime and manga of this series, I was excited to hear that ADV would be releasing both the anime and manga. Unfortunately, the manga is marred by "Americanizations" that change the humor and in a few cases completely change the original intent. I won't bore you with technical details, but some examples: the character "Osaka" is given a Brooklyn accent, English teachers become Spanish teachers, foods are given different names and a few jokes dealing with Japanese culture are completely rewritten, changing the meaning entirely.
The question is why does ADV bother to print the manga from right to left and display Japanese sound effects if they are going to make so many drastic changes?
Luckilly, there is some hope. The second half of this volume is closer to the original intent and meaning, leaving me to hope that the subsequent volumes will be of this quality.

Cowboy Be-Bop: The Movie (Bilingual)
Cowboy Be-Bop: The Movie (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kôichi Yamadera
Offered by BuyCDNow Canada
Price: CDN$ 21.29
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Technically Brilliant but without a soul, Oct. 4 2003
I was really looking forward to the release of this movie. I was a big fan of the show and when I heard that the movie was essentially a longer TV episode that actually appealed to me. Unfortunately, during the hiatus between the end of the show and the production of the movie, the team forgot what made the show good. The characters seem to be only shadows of their former selves, the plot is not developed and events happen for reasons that are not explained (For example: just why is a character involved in a dogfight with the military for example? The script gave no explanation why this character would be considered an enemy). Essentially it is more interested in looking good than BEING good. I've learned that when it comes to sequels or new productions of an old show in anime, you can't go home again.

Dictionary of Japanese Culture
Dictionary of Japanese Culture
by Setsuko Kojima
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 69.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Everything I hoped it would be, Sept. 9 2003
As someone who is both a student of Japanese culture and a fan of anime and manga, I had long hoped to find a reference source to explain Japanese culture. This book was quite useful in providing the information I needed, and frequently filled holes and corrected errors in the information I possessed. This was worth getting.

The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation since 1917
The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation since 1917
by Jonathan Clements
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 3.56

1.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of information and misinformation, March 31 2003
It is difficult being an otaku (anime fan) when it comes to finding useful source material. Most of the good information is in Japanese, and only reaches the Western viewer in a trickle-down fashion.
So, on the face of it, this would seem to be a crucial book, telling you what is out there. Alas, while this book does try to be informative and useful, it is filled with so many errors and embittered opinions, that I would not recommend using it as an authorative source. Whether it is a simple error of claiming that the anime classic "Otaku no Video" was created in 1985-- which was two years before the creator of this anime (Gainax) was founded; or the embittered opinions of attacking one series (Fushigi Yugi) merely on the grounds that it wasn't as good as another series (Escaflowne) there are many pieces of unreliable information. Series are given the wrong year, wrong number of episodes and frequently plot descriptions that are so distorted that one wonders how closely the authors followed the series in question.

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