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Saving the World (of TV Animation): The "Avatar the Last Airbender" Complete Book 1 Collection

by Ed Liuon October 28, 2006
Water, Earth, Fire and Air are the four elements that the title character of Nickelodeon’s Avatar the Last Airbender must master as part of his quest to save the world. Similarly, the show’s success lies in its mastery of four different elements: Setting, Story, Characterization, and Technique. The first season, recently released on DVD, proves […]

The Existential Angst of "Hello Kitty: Stump Village" Vol. 1

by Ed Liuon October 25, 2006
It could have been a recipe for disaster. In 2005, Sanrio began work on a new cartoon for their top-licensed character, the charming but aloof Hello Kitty. Following the current trend of “re-imagining” classic series, the producers chose to abandon all the prior continuity of her earlier animated incarnations, opting instead for a 3-D stop-motion […]

"Street Fighter II The Animated Movie": Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Punch!

by Chad Boninon October 24, 2006
The world terrorist organization known as Shadowlaw infests the globe with their tyrrany. Led by M. Bison, they’re tracking down various street fighters to recruit to their organization, but they truly have their eyes on one combatant: Ryu, the world warrior who once trained alongside his best friend Ken in the way of the Hadou. […]

"Negima Vol. 3": Courage is the Ultimate Proof of Magic!

by Chad Boninon October 22, 2006
The Japanese are supposed to be smart, right? That is the stereotype. For some reason though, Negi Springfield’s having trouble teaching a good portion of his class: one girl is off working on her net idol website, while the Dummy Force threatens the class average and another is already being set up for marriage while […]

"Tenchi Muyo! Ryo Ohki" Earth-shatteringly Awesome, "Target: Tenchi" Now!

by Chad Boninon October 19, 2006
The world’s luckiest bachelor, Tenchi Masaki, tends to cause trouble. Well, not directly. Trouble is caused because he exists. This is never more true when forces conspire to end his life: The brother of Mihoshi is out to cause trouble for what he believes to be a hedonistic monster (which is completely off-base, given that […]

"Speed Grapher Vol. 3": A Strong Marriage Built on a Solid Foundation of Deception

by Dr. Daedaluson October 18, 2006
One of the most challenging things for a critic is to review the new volume of a serialized show without giving away all the turns it takes. After all, what point is there in watching it for suspense if I just give it all away right up front? It’s an unavoidable problem. All I’ll say […]

"Avoid Eye Contact Vol. 2": Independence Day

by Dr. Daedaluson October 17, 2006
One of the things I love about independent animation is that there are no limits. There are no network suits telling the artist to change something because it won’t appeal to the kids, it is too violent or sexual, or it isn’t cost-effective. If the artist wants to draw someone getting mutilated, they do so. […]

"Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror Of Shamballa": Whuppin' Nazis Faster than Indiana

by Chad Boninon October 16, 2006
Alchemy’s first law of equivalent exchange: to obtain, something of equal value must be lost. What happens in a world without alchemy? Edward Elric, formerly known as the Fullmetal Alchemist of the State, has to deal with that situation. Having been transported to a country called “Germany” for some time, he is having to adapt […]

"Speed Grapher Vol. 2": Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Aphrodisiac

by Dr. Daedaluson October 15, 2006
Volume 2 continues our adventures with Saiga and Kagura. Saiga is a photographer who is helping Kagura escape the confines of her “imprisoned” rich girl existence, all while those who want to take back Kagura tail them. In episodes five and six, we meet Madam Koganei, a female villain with a penchant for eating diamonds […]

"Negima Vol. 2: Magic and Combat": Legend of the Mild! Mystic Boring Stuff!

by Chad Boninon October 15, 2006
You are the newest professor at the Mahora Academy, an all-girls school… where most the girls are older than you, and they can’t know that you’re a master of magic. One student does, because your father put the bloodsucker at that school in the first place. Another does, because she’s got the mad ninja skills […]