It’s actually been a while since I was able to treat myself to some new anime, so I was extremely glad to find a good deal on this anime. On a recent trip to MovieStop I picked up the Funimation Anime classic series called ‘Shigurui: Death Frenzy’. I knew a little bit on the background of the anime, so I was excited to find that the complete series came in a two disc DVD format for only twenty dollars. Being on the strict budget that I am, this was definitely a good deal.
The DVD version of ‘Shigurui: Death Frenzy’ came in 2-Disc format complete with a a case, and slip cover. It was released as under the ‘Anime Classics’ collections by Funimation, and MAD HOUSE. The episodes are presented in a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio/format. The audio options include both the English, and Japanese language. Subtitles are also available to choose from. The English audio is presented in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, and if I had a good speaker setup I assume the quality would be brilliant. Shigurui: Death Frenzy is rated ‘MA’, and for a good reason. Throughout Shuguri you will find strong sexual themes, graphic nudity, and strong blood/gore. This DVD is definitely not for the faint of heart.
The story of Shigurui: Death Frenzy is based heavily on shogun, and samurai traditions of the 1600’s. The plot unfolds in a flashback style of storytelling. The first scene actually begins at the end where two skilled swordsman face each other in a fight to the death. From that point on both Fujiki, and Irako’s tales are told in an alternating storyline. Fujiki plays the role of an honorable samurai of the Kogan style. During the story Fujiki’s master is challenged by Irako, a samurai of a different style, and a deep hatred is born inside of him. Fujiki’s fight against Irako spans 12 episodes full of bloody carnage, and artistic storytelling in a unique anime style. The episodes progress with Fujiki finding it harder, and harder to hide his hatred for Irako. Both Fujiki, and Irako encounter battles, and situations with one another that end up leaving them with handicaps. In the end the the fate of the Kogan style, and the blood feud between two handicapped samurai come to a climax in this samurai tale that is stained with crimson.
When I first picked up ‘Shigurui: Death Frenzy’ I actually expected something a good bit different. I was honestly hoping to see a lot more action, and less storytelling. In the end Shigurui was more of a story told with bloody visuals, and erotic content. Even so, this anime has much to offer. The artistic visuals, and CG animation bring this animated tale to life in a brilliant way. The audio was accented with traditional Japanese drums, gongs, and other instruments that added intensity to the story and the fights that were shown. If you are an anime fan, and enjoy samurai lore then this DVD set will definitely be a treat for you. Please keep in mind though that the visual subject matter in this DVD set is intended for mature audiences only. For a twenty dollar price tag (and if you are of age) I don’t think you can go wrong with this title.
While browsing the DVD aisle at my local Wal-Mart recently, I stumbled across a bin full of $5 DVDs. To my amazement, I found whole box sets of some early Japanese Tokusatsu series for $5 each!
For those that don’t know what Tokusatsu is, it is the term used to describe live-action special effects shows that feature super heroes and/or robots Such series included are Ultraman and Power Rangers.
The first $5 set I came across was the original 1966 Ultraman series. This set contains all 39 uncut episodes in English and the original Japanese language with English subtitles.
The story takes place in the “near feature” and features the Science Patrol that is equipped to handle monster outbreaks. One day, Ultraman crashes into Hayata’s ship and accidentally kills him. Ultraman revives Hayata by merging his essence with him. This gives Hayata the power to call on Ultraman and transform into him to fight the monsters.
The second box set I came across was the 1973 series Super Robot Red Baron. This set contains all 39 episodes in the original Japanese language with English subtitles.
Set in the 21st Century, the evil “Iron Alliance” begins stealing giant robots and kidnapping their creators during an exhibition. Before Red Baron can be taken, the creator gives over the robot to his brother Ken who is a member of the Secret Science Investigation. With the help of Red Baron, the SSI seeks out to stop the Iron Alliance and their treacherous ways.
You should definitely hunt these down if you’re into Japanese rubber suit monsters, corny dialogue and special effects. At $5 a pop, you are getting a great bargain. Each set was released by Mill Creek Entertainment. According to their website, they also released a series called Iron King. Hopefully they will continue to release more of these shows.
Warner Premiere has announced the next title in its DC Universe direct to disc line is going to be Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. For those who are not in the know, the story follows the 2nd story arc “The Supergirl From Krypton”. Real Otaku Gamer has heard that this new animated movie will be released on September 28, 2010. The movie will be released in three different versions, a single standard edition DVD, a double-disc Special Edition DVD, and on Blu-ray disc.
The previous Superman/Batman release from DC Universe “Public Enemies” was based on the first story arc of the same name. The new Batman:Under the Red Hood comes out on July 27th, 2010 and Warner Brothers announces this new animated feature. This shows Warner Brothers dedication to make these characters relevant so that feature films may be considered. Here is the cover art and the trailer for this feature.