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"Spider-Man: Doc Ock" Falls Short, But Pleases

Aiming to cash in on the release of Sony’s Spider-Man 2, Buena Vista will release its fourth Spider-Man: The Animated Series DVD on June 29. And—will coincidences never cease—the DVD just happens to hype the villain to be be featured in the live-action film. I say “hypes” rather than “features,” because, in point of fact, […]

Central Park's "Anime Test Drive" Might Need a Tune-Up

U.S. Manga Corps and Central Park Media have been trying something new recently: a line of single-episode, trailer-packed DVDs to give viewers (as the title suggests) an “Anime Test Drive.” So you not only get to take one episode of a series for a spin around the block, you get to kick the tires on […]

".hack//SIGN" Ends in an Explosive Finale

Those who followed the intricate and dramatic .hack//SIGN on Cartoon Network last year were treated to a rich plot based on a massive multi-player online RPG (MMORPG). It’s a franchise that that went on to become a series of games for the Playstation 2, a manga, and a separate series: .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet, […]

Let Garfield Be Garfield!

When I was a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was Garfield and Friends. So when I heard they were going to make a feature movie, I cheered. Then I found out it was going to be live-action–time to go into cringe-mode. Then I heard that Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, would be overseeing […]

Grrl Power: Cute Candy Shell on the Outside, Great Anime on the Inside

The world is chock-full of hyper-saccharine, obscenely cute anime. However, Grrl Power distances itself from the pack with genuine humor and a small of dash of pathos. Created, directed, and storyboarded by Akitoroh Daichi (who directed the cute yet bittersweet Fruits Basket, Kodocha, Jubei-chan, and Animation Runner Kuromi, and also wrote the manga that Grrl […]

"Blue Gender (Vol. 2)": More Blue, More Deaths

When Yuji sees a young girl about to be slaughtered by the Blue, his selfless actions endanger both the Sleeper Recovery Team and the refugees holed up in a makeshift camp. All the while, Yuji notices the harsh reality of relationships in this bleak future. Can Yuji’s naivete break down Marlene’s frosty exterior. More pressing […]

"Fruits Basket (Vol. 2)" Mixes Into a Wonderful Smoothie

Fruits Basket Volume 1 (previous review) was a great DVD: Six episodes of a terrific story packaged with good extras. Does Volume 2 keep it up? Oh yeah. In fact, this one may be even better. The background: After her mother died, Tohru Honda ended up living with the Sohmas. (Kyo’s the brash one, Yuki’s […]

"Pokémon Jirachi Wish Maker" Doesn't Fulfill Every Wish

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Slowly and steadily, 4Kids has been getting better at dubbing the Pokémon movies. After the disaster that was Mewtwo Strikes Back, they allowed for some quietness in Power of One, produced an almost-perfect translation in Spell of the Unown, and used Japanese music in Celebi: Spirit of the Forest. However, with this, the first Pokémon […]

"Shrek 2" Fun, But Lacks Element of Surprise

The first Shrek startled all who saw it. It was a truly funny film that made the leap every cartoon dreams of, from the dungeon of “children’s entertainment” to the blessed, lucrative waters of the mainstream. Its method was a mix of overturned expectations, visual parody and sheer fun. Now the sequel has arrived, and […]

"Azumanga Daioh" Animated Goodness

High school comedic anime are a dime-a-dozen, so to speak. There are almost as many high school anime as there are giant robot anime. So, if it’s to stand out from the crowd, it’s got to be something that separates it from the garbage. It also has to be, you know, funny. If you do […]

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