In many ways Amanchu marks a change in direction for Kozue Amano, yet paradoxically bears many similarities to Aria.

 The semi futuristic Mars of Aria is replaced by a contemporary earth of this series as Kohinata Hikari, a part time scuba diver and newly starting high school student, meets and befriends Ooki Futaba, a quite and withdrawn newcomer to the coastal town of Ito [the setting for this series]who through her encounters [and experiences with]hikaru, begins to open her eyes to this fabulous new world, and at the time open her heart as well.

As to be expected Kosue’s artwork is the crowning feature for this series – everything, from the wetsuits hikaru and ooki wear to the town and the countryside, are lent an almost realistic nature, but without the telltale signs of being traced from a photograph – even his work on  the underwater scenes make you feel that you are underwater with the girls.

With a great supporting cast, in the guise of teacher and scuba club instructor Katori Mato, and the two senior classmates, and fellow club members [and also brother and sister] Ai and Makoto,  this series has animated adaptation written all over it.


Don’t be shy – dive on in!


NEWSFLASH! derby 2010 J-Rock Event!

and you thought this was just a blog repository for some mad Uk anime fan!

Basically tokyo otaku, a derby based anime/manga/everything else a british  anime fan with a small countries bank account would need/shop is helping to organinse a J-rock event in Derby

heres the basic details from their facebook event announcment:

Date: Sunday, September 26 at 7:00pm
Time: 19:00 – 23:00
Location: Assembly Rooms
Town/City: Derby, United Kingdom

Price: £20 early booking
Price: £25 on the door

Goto for ticket sales.


Bands Confirmed:
Geordi La Force

Bands Uncomfirmed:

Yoshida Brothers
Screaming tea party

Our wish list:

the GazettE

so if your a Uk based anime fan, and can makre mit to Derby, or just know someone who would be interested – TELL THEM!!!!!

Of Wolves and drossels


hey hoo readers, just a short post today as i have to prep for an interview tomorrow:

firstly heres a review by youtube blogger Vangel1s of figma’s Drossal [from the japanese disneys fireball] –

for a sample of the…curiousness that is herr Drossel then go to here for the first translated episode of fireball –

and finally [and not at all beacuse i’ve just worked out how to attach video links,honest^^;] heres an interesting take on duran duran’s hungry like a wolf –

till next time – EXCELSIOR!!


the fail...its too much

In this day and age where the gap in animé and manga releases from the U.S. To the U.K. Has come down to mere months its hard to believe that we have missed out on so many titles which for many older US fans were their gateways into animé – Voltron being such an example.
Originally aired in Japan in 1981, and then translated and broadcast in America in 1984, its not until a staggering 14 years later that we in the UK finally get the chance to see what the fuss was all about as Manga Entertainment release this series in a series of 4 disc box sets [a format familiar to fans of Bleach and Naruto].
But first, a warning – The series that we are getting is from an era where, like Robotech, the license holders felt the “need” to edit, delete and basically make it more acceptable for children – a fact confirmed by the lucrative toy and merchandise ranges released at the same time as the series.
The plot [if you can call it that – i swear this makes He-man look intellectually challenging] Follows the adventures of Keith [hot blooded hero no# 225], Sven [winner of Worst Swedish accent awards 20 years running], Lance [dark, brooding sasuke wannabe], Pidge [ gravity defying midget – trust me this guy must be on steroids or something], and hunk [ which as the name Might not suggest, is the muscles of the party] the top members of the Galaxy Alliance [which does not bode well for the galaxy] as, after being captured by King Zarkon, ruler of planet Doom [no seriously thats the name, they even put the name up in captions whenever we see his castle] they escape and, as fate [and the script] would have it, they wind up on the wartorn planet of Arus where, after meeting princess Alura [who seems to spend lot of th time on screen either looking vacuous, or getting into situations requiring the other members of the team to help her – go sexual equality] , discover the ancient lion robots that, when combined together, transforms into Voltron, defender of the Universe [even though from the initial 3 discs that make up this box set they always seem to take place on planet].
The plotline for the series from the initial discs Boils down to a similar format –
*King Zarkon’s pet witch Haggar creates a monster, which she sends to Arus, along with long suffering Commander Cossack, and a large attack force.
*The Voltron force attack with just the seperate lion robots and, and a struggle, get the monster on the ropes – where upon Commander Cossack fires a beam at the monster, transforming it into a larger version of itself.
*Voltron team get their collected asses handed to themselves, whereupon keith calls the team to combine to create Voltron, where upon he produces a sword and destroys the monster.
*At this point, rather than support the monster or even attack them there and then Cossack and his massive force turn tail and fly away.

Basically if you’ve ever even watched one episode of any Power Rangers series then you’ve basically got the average plotline of this series. Add to this the fact that for the sake of plot progression common sense and at times characters intelligence is sacrificed on a regular basis – i know this was made for kids but this was bordering on the ridiculous!

Okay i hear you say, but theres got to be some saving graces – like the extras for example.

[sigh] the extras….

I have to ask a question of Manga Entertainment – what makes you think a short display of the original linework for the characters and the Voltron mecha, a collection of grainy, low quality video recordings of displays of the Voltron toys and an equally low quality recording from some American news report about some American Voltron fans being taken by plane to Disneyland Florida [with some woman cosplaying as princess Alura], and a US TV trailer of the series [which,
if you put together all the video footage totals up to less than 5 minutes of footage] constitutes as extras?
Frankly, even with the defense that its an older anime series with the triple problems of not only being a heavily edited and dumbed down show that was targeted at kids, But having to date no release of Golion [the original series that it was edited from] and also having no Uk fanbase when it first came out in the 80’s , and Frankly i cant see how Manga Entertainment expects anyone to buy this first Volume, let alone the rest of the series [imagine trying to sell danger mouse in the US].
Frankly this release smells of either a contractual requirement between Manga and Madman entertainment, or someone in the licensing office was smoking something….
All in all if your a really hardcore fan of Mecha shows or power rangers, or are interesting in see what early anime series were released in the US in the 80’s, then by all means buy this series – Anyone expecting an original Japanese dub track or any clue as to the original series though will be best to avoid this series, in which case i would suggest sticking with frankly much superior [and non butchered] series like Raxephon, or any of the Mobile suit Gundam series.

Until next time, be grateful for what you get next time you grumble about the dub track ….
At least you can switch it off!

Elephant,Elephant,hippo rhino?


Elephant, Elephant, hippo rhino? Is a series of three panel comic strips written and drawn by Mary Beaird [although the third issue is now available via panic room comics, the first two are currently still available through sweatdrop comics]
At first glance the premise seems deceptively simple – the series [which is currently up to two small volumes] follows the trials and tribulations of Dave, a rhino who enjoys quantum physic, Shakespeare and DDR who’s life at the zoo is interrupted by the arrival of Keanu, a Brazilian Tapir whose hobbies include base jumping from trees, impersonating certain characters from the Matrix, and watching Buffy the vampire slayer and Eastenders.

As you can see, this not your average series.

Throw into this mix aliens, Cosplaying tapirs, anime conventions, musical renditions, and the truth about just what birds are talking about – and its not about decoration recommendations – and the result is a deceptively short, strangely addictive, surprisingly amusing, and an overall great value series, that readers of any age could read and find something enjoyable about.

The only real complaint i could level at this series is the fact that at 26 pages you always feel wanting for more once you finish each volume – but then again it could be said that by keeping the page count [and unintentionally the publication rate] low guarantees that the writer for this series wont suffer from either burnout or repetition, that could spell the downfall of many series.

All in all if your after a good laugh, but want a change from mecha and schoolgirls series, then this series is for you.

Now what animal was it again….?

The Walking Man


Man goes for a walk. Man sees sights and events that offer him and the reader insight. Man goes home.

If that description doesn’t strike you as an entertaining reading then you probably want to move on – go on, I’m sure mike dent has something good up over at justiceACE [link here] – probably about a giant robot or something.

Still here? Right then….

Aruku Hito, a one book complete series released in 2001 and created by  by Jiro Taniguch, follows the day to day life of a married man [hes never named in the series] and the events that happen when he decides to go for a walk – and no, we’re not talking FLCL type events – we’re talking him meeting a birdwatcher, him going for a drunken walk, him walking through his hometown at night….

Yeaaah……as you can probably tell by now;

A] this is a slice of life series

B] this isn’t for the thrill seekers/shonen fans etc.

So why am I  reviewing it? and why is it that I still enjoy reading it over and over again?

In a nutshell, in a series where very little to no words are spoken, its the artwork that tells each story – and tells it wonderfully. The artwork throughout is entirely photo realistic – if you wanted to you yourself could walk around these places. Another thing that I found was  that there was always some detail that you could spot in each page that you may have missed last time.

And I think thats part of why I think this is a good series – the reader is in many ways traveling alongside this man, and in so doing taking the time to appreciate the world that many of us take for granted.

wish I had time to spare to do this...
At the end of the day if you want an insightful series with great artwork but no overcomplicated plotlines, or if you just want something for a lazy, Sunday afternoon read then this is the one for you.

Till next time – when was the last time you went for a walk?

A walking man is available from the portent mon/fanfare website