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Anime

Escaflowne & Metropolis Hit US Big Screens Friday 189

darketernal writes "Escaflowne is appearing in theaters nationwide on the 25th, depending on your location. Rated PG-13. Here is a Yahoo! Review." If you've seen Escaflowne in japanese, you probably know that its a pretty cool show, and while its not one of my all time favorites, if the big screen release gets anywhere near me, I'll be there. Perhaps even bigger news is that the mega anime film hit Metropolis is being release at the same time.
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Escaflowne & Metropolis Hit US Big Screens Friday

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  • does this mean... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by doooras ( 543177 )
    ... we'll finally be able to get some Region 1 anime without hunting for six months?
    • Re:does this mean... (Score:1, Informative)

      by Microlith ( 54737 )
      Nope!

      Sunrise Animation Studios (Cowboy Bebop, Gundam, a trillion other great shows) requires that its licensors wait 6 months between the time that they (sunrise) start release and the time the licensor begins release (and they must not finish the series before they (sunrise) do).

      Of course, the American studios are having a hard time keeping up with a lot of the stuff out there, so it's often not much of an issue (except for hot-ticket titles, like the Bebop movie will be).

      Others force various wait times, some don't at all.

      Those that do, do it to avoid R1 reimportation (they KNOW that region coding means jack shit).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Finally a chance to enjoy quality anime on the big screen. I first saw Escaflowne as a 30-minute serial on a local TV network... it was good enough to catch my interest, but man, they really butchered it with the editing. This movie is going to rock!
  • As much as I enjoyed the Escaflowne movie, I still think the series is a lot better. The movie changed a lot of things, not always for the better. The new character designs weren't great, although I did like Hitomi more in the film, mainly because she had more of a purpose than she does in the series.

    My problem really is that they neutered Merle in the movie, and almost neutered Allen. These two were my favourite characters from the series. I did like the fact they gave Merle a background though.

    Of course, the movie is an excuse to listen to Maaya Sakamoto's beautiful voice for 90-odd minutes.

    Then again, I can listen to it for 13 hours if i watch the series. :D
    • As much as I enjoyed the Escaflowne movie

      If you enjoyed the movie, you're a hell of a unique guy. While the anime club I used to be in loved the Escaflowne series (we even did a weekend showing of all eps back to back), the movie was about the only thing ever universally panned. It was amazingly bad, and I'm horrified that people will see it and get an impression of anime from it. Hell, we even watched Lensman for the self abuse factor and enjoyed it more. Gah.

      --
      Evan

      • He's at least not completely unique. I saw the movie at the American Film Institute festival, and enjoyed it enough to watch the series. The problem is not, I suspect, the movie per se but that the movie is a huge letdown after seeing the series. You just can't redo a whole 26 episode series as a 2 hour movie and hope to do it justice, so they had to change everything to make it work. It's pretty good if you don't go in expecting it to be more than peripherally related to the TV show.

      • I downloaded it early last year. About halfway through watching it, I was really starting to wonder when the good part would happen. So I did a seek to the last five minutes and found out that I had saved myself from wasting half an hour more of my precious lifeforce on watching this steaming pile of crap.

        So for those of you out there who loved the Escaflowne TV series, but hated how every damn Tenchi series had to be in a different continuity, think of this as the Shin Tenchi/Tenchi in Tokyo of Escaflowne. The first four episodes of TiT, that is, before they rewrote the plot from scratch.

        I give it two guymelefs down. Save your ten bucks and watch something by Rumiko Takahashi instead. (Urusei Yatsura, Ranma, Maison Ikkoku, Inu Yasha, whatever you like best.)

    • Hate to rain on your parade, but they're releasing it dubbed.

      Yes, the nerve-grating cast of the original TV series dub (that was panned by sub and dub fan alike) was brought back to do the movie.

      So, no, Maaya won't be reprising her role of Hitomi for the North America theater release of the movie (to my dismay), but she will be on the DVD.
      • Even worse, that means no Minami Takayama as Dilando. I thought that Dilando was a huge scene stealer in the TV series, and I'm going to miss Minami's voice for him in the movie. I can't remember a better deranged villain voice.

        • Yeah, really sucks. I've heard the english Dilandau sounds more whiny than psychotic.

          Interesting side note, after having had it mentioned that Minami-san was the singer for the japanese dance group "Two-Mix" I now have images of a derranged boy singing to the songs...

          >_ it's bad....
          • by rgmoore ( 133276 )

            She's also in DoCO [tcp.com] together with the other women from Ranma 1/2. I just find it really odd to think of the same actress doing Dilando and Nabiki Tendo. I guess that's talent.

          • Yeah, really sucks. I've heard the english Dilandau sounds more whiny than psychotic.

            I've been an anime fan for roughly 10 years or so; Dilandu's English voice is possibly the worst acting job I've ever heard.

            He ("he"... hahahah) steals most of the scenes he's in the Japanese version because he's so damn cool and psychotic... when he makes an appearance in the English version, I wanted to hurl bricks through my new $1000 TV and stab myself in the ears.
      • Argh! NO! WRONG! EVIL EVIL EVIL! KILL IT!

        Seriously, that is just so totally wrong I can't believe it.

        Hopefully if they show it here in Australia, they'll show it subtitled, like they have with Mononoke Hime (which has been going around various cinemas here for a year now...) and Metropolis.

        /me goes off to cry at the thought of not hearing Maaya in wonderful Dolby 5.1 surround sound... *sigh*
      • Not only are they releasing it dubbed, but if you watch the trailer @ www.escamovie.com you'll find out that it's poorly dubbed. Hopefully with the success of movies like Crouching Tiger, Iron Monkey, Run Lola Run and Brotherhood of the Wolf among others, the pathetic anime companies will realize that people prefer the untainted product. That being said, the voices of Final Fantasy X were more than adequate, they were pretty darn good IMO.
        • Well dub fans hated it. And fact is, 90% of the north american anime market likes, you guessed it, dubs.

          The majority don't want to read subtitles, but hopefully more will begin to tolerate them.

          The "pathetic anime companies" know exactly what they're doing. They're aiming for the larger market, and using that to keep us dedicated fans happy.

          Fortunately, the DVD release WILL have the original audio, and japanese will be the only language i'll ever hear Escaflowne in.
    • The thing I did hate about the movie (even though I generally liked it, specially the aesthetics) is that they destroyed the "villain-plot".

      They deleted relatively complex "bad guys" for an anime (Dornkirk and the original Folken, for example), and replaced it with a remarkably silly characters (the movie-Folken just makes no sense, for example).
    • Escaflowne the series was originally a shoujo manga series, which then became turned into a 26-episode anime run.

      Escaflowne the movie was originally a shounen manga series, which became turned into a movie.

      That's why the story is different, the people look different, and so on.

      The series spends a lot of time on the love story between Hitomi, Van, and Allen, while the movie is about Van's fight.

      Each has it's merits, it's just up to you to choose which you like most.

      Gawyn
  • Nationwide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:03PM (#2898786) Homepage Journal
    New York, Chicago, and a couple of west coast cities isn't really nationwide, is it?

    - A.P.
    • Re:Nationwide? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by achurch ( 201270 )

      New York, Chicago, and a couple of west coast cities isn't really nationwide, is it?

      Sure it is. New York is on the east coast, Chicago is in the middle, and a couple of west coast cities are on the west coast, so the release area is "as wide as the nation"; therefore, "nationwide".

      Then again, maybe not.

    • How well have previous 'ported anime movies done in the theatres? I would love to see the Escaflowne movie on the big screen (was too far back in the line for the OTAKON [otakon.com] showing, years ago : \ ), but I wonder if there are any legitimate reasons for the producers to be so apprehensive with it's release.

      I got the idea that anime was selling well [mercurycenter.com] in our (US) theatres. Why are producers only interested in releasing to such a limited area?

      - kaoruAngel

  • So where are the locations? I see nothing in the Yahoo review that talks about how limited or not the release is.
    • I will now answer my own question. Mighta been nice for an editor to try this themself.... The release dates and cities are here [escamovie.com] and are for LA, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Pasadena, and Vancouver. Of course, only one theater is listed for each city, and the SF listing doesn't even have that info.
  • Metropolis? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pb ( 1020 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:09PM (#2898817)
    Since when was "Metropolis" an Anime film?

    I admit that I'm not deeply into Anime, but I've seen my fair share, including Bastard, Tyler, Utena, and other random stuff. Therefore, I feel comfortable with saying that the only well-known MOVIE called "Metropolis" isn't animated. It's still incredible, even in black and white, and it's definitely highly rated.

    But if slashdot (which pretends to be a news outlet of some kind) actually wants to make any sense even to the people who read it, a footnote is in order here explaining what "Metropolis" is for the vast majority of us who only know about the much more well-known movie by the same name.
    • Re:Metropolis? (Score:4, Informative)

      by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:18PM (#2898855) Homepage
      Its based off of the Magna (Comic book) by Osamu Tezuka from 1949...which was (most likly) inspired by Metropolis (1926)

      and actually parts of Metropolis (1926) were animated, as well as stop action photography and other nifty effects!
    • ...right there in the story summary. Howsabout you try clicking on it.
    • here [tezuka.co.jp] is what this [metropolis-movie.com] movie is based on...
    • Although I consider myself a fan of anime, I'd have to say I was a bit let down when I realized that it wasn't the 'silent' Metropolis. I'm not sure I'd consider either one well known. Truthfully I don't even know a single person that's seen a silent movie. Which is in a way, sort of sad. You find that silent movies had a charm much their own, despite not having any voices like the 'talkies'. It certainly didn't detract from the power of Metropolis.
      • Re:Metropolis? (Score:4, Informative)

        by fleener ( 140714 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:08AM (#2899243)
        Serious movie viewers know Fritz Lang's Metropolis [persocom.com.br]. It is a testiment to someone's lack of knowledge that Slashdot could post a news link about a different Metropolis and fail to note the distinction.

        This is like posting a link about an anime Star Wars without stating up-front that you're talking about a film with a completely different plot and a confusingly similar name. "No, it's not an anime-version of Star Wars. It just has the same name." Frankly, this is embarassing.

        Yeah, go ahead anime lovers. Mod me down. I've got the karma to take your wrath.
    • I was rather excited at the prospect of an animated Metropolis, only to find out this recent news is about something else.

      I know this is Slashdot, but I would still be very surprised to learn that Fritz Lang's Metropolis [persocom.com.br] is lesser known than this anime thing.
    • Ha ha. Try clicking the link you idiot. Personally I was thinking, hmmm... can't be Lang's movie.. and guess what, it wasn't.

      All cheer those who don't know what a link is.
    • Re:Metropolis? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Chuu ( 307073 )
      Metropolis definatly is an anime. The short blurb going around is:

      This exceptional animated film is based on the classic manga by the late, great Osamu Tezuka -- with whom director Rintaro worked on such '60s classics as Astro-Boy and Kimba -- and is scripted by Katuhiro Otomo (Akira). In an enormous, retro-future city where robots and androids do most of the work, there is nonetheless great unrest. The government is really a tool of evil billionaire Duke Red, and the seeds of rebellion grow underground. Stir into this crucible of turbulence a young man, his detective uncle, a youthful assassin, and an angelic blonde who doesn't realize just what she really is, and the result is as compelling as it is eye-popping, and as unusual as the swing-era music on the soundtrack. Original Japanese version with English subtitles.

      If you need some more info, Here's a link. [sony.com]
  • In my opinion, they shouldn't even bother releasing any anime movies until they decide to show Miyazaki's movies. It's like releasing ST Voyager without ever showing ST Nextgen!
    • Go yell at Disney. They bought the rights to just about every ghibli movie back in 96 up through mononoke (they don't have their new one though), and have been sitting on most of them.

      Why?

      There's a ton of theories, one of which is that disney want to be made to look bad by releasing licensed films that stomp on their own.

      Go yell at Disney. On the other hand, laud Tristar and Bandai for trying to get anime out and on the big screen.
      • releasing licensed films that stomp on their own.

        Although I'm sure the anime is better than Disney anyway, it doesn't take much effort to outdo sequels to Cinderella and Peter Pan *cough*

        Umptilly billion dollars in revenue and you'd think they could at least buy something orig--

        wait, never mind...
  • Surely, Microsoft can find a better use for its funds than... Oh, wait. That is off-topic.

    OK. Cute Japanese cartoons. Cute Japanese cartoons that are somehow cooler than anyone else's cute cartoons.

    Did they make them using Linux? Do they appeal to Lawrence Lessig as he whiles away the hours in the Supreme Court? Phew, at least they're not made by AOL/Time-Warner...
  • I wonder when, if ever, the movie would hit Canada. I have a passing interest in anime, and while I'm far too lazy to go and find a place that I could rent/buy the stuff, I love watching it on TV. But having it in the theatre would be just damn cool.
    • Vancouver, BC

      This is, supposedly, going to be the only place (thus far) where the Escaflowne movie will hit in Canada.

      I don't know about Metropolis, but hopefully Tristar will do what they did with CTHD and give it a nice, wide, subtitled release.
  • on one page (dont remember where) they were saying that Metropolis was NOT based off of the 1926 Fritz Lang Silent Masterpiece, but off of the Japanese Magna (1949) of the same name... that may be the case, BUT I wonder where Osamu Tezuka got HIS inspiration from...

    It probably wont hit any theaters around here, but at least the video [amazon.com] will be available in May...
    • According to today's Morning Edition [npr.org] article on it, Tezuka was inspired partly by seeing some stills from Lang's movie--there's no indication whether he actually saw the movie itself, but he did write his story based on similar themes.

      Note that there is a trailer for the anime Metropolis in the trailers section of the first disc of the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within DVD. It looks pretty impressive to me.
      • Ive seen the trailer and It looks fantastic... but from sonme of the shots of the Magna that he wrote, Im quite sure he has seen at least parts of it... to much similarity in both the story and the artwork... too bad Ill have to wait until it gets released on DVD... hopefully the re-release of the B&W version will take place in April as slated...
  • Whore (Score:4, Redundant)

    by Night0wl ( 251522 ) <iandow@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:21PM (#2898868) Homepage Journal
    1.25.2002 Los Angeles GCC Galleria Cinema 3rd Level of the Mall,
    1815 Hawthorne Blvd. Redondo Beach,
    CA 90278, (310)777-FILM
    1.25.2002 New York AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street, 234 West
    42nd Street New York, NY 10036, (212)398-3939
    1.25.2002 San Francisco
    1.25.2002 Chicago GCC City North Cinema , 2600 N Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647, (773)394-1601
    1.25.2002 Pasadena AMC Old Town Pasadena 8, Union at Fair Oaks
    Pasadena, CA 91103, (626)585-8900
    1.25.2002 Vancouver
    CANADA Cinemark's Tinseltown, 88 W. Pender,
    #3000 Int'l Village, Vancouver, B.C.
    V6B 6N9, (604) 806-0799
  • by ainsoph ( 2216 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:28PM (#2898894) Homepage

    Well I do not know the show/movie, yet I am a poser fan of japanese modern animated art.

    As a linux user I went to the multimedia section to see some teasers. Hmmm... wonder if windows media works with linux? click...

    " Setup detected that you are running:Solaris It is recommended that you download:

    Windows Media Player 6.3 Total Size:

    Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a01f4'

    Variable is undefined: 'L_size12_Text'

    /download/download.asp, line 560"

    Nope.. sorry, not using Solaris, whaddya stupid? Oh.. Hey.. MS, hows that VBScript treating ya?

    • Almost as nice as
      Use of unititalized variable at line 51120191 of /usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/foo.pl
      Use of unititalized variable at line 51120192 of /usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/foo.pl
      Use of unititalized variable at line 51120193 of /usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/foo.pl
      Use of unititalized variable at line 51120194 of /usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/foo.pl
      ...
      right?
    • Why do you think that every story on Slashdot has to be about Linux, Microsoft or Steve (Hand) Jobs?
      I can't believe some people have nothing better to do that bring this up under every article. Personally I'd be more interested in discussing if this movie is subtitled or dubbed, and why anyone would butcher anime with dubbing. Crouching Tiger proved that American audiences will watch subtitles movies. Dubbing is just wrong. Can you imagine The Terminator in French?? "We we, I'll be le back". IMHO language is just an integral part of a film.
      And if you are determined to turn slashdot into a Linux/MS only discussion site, do us all a favor and just use the following substitution for slashdot:

      lynx www.linuxtoday.com | sed 's/Linus/Cmdr Taco/g' | sed 's/Microsoft/Micro$oft/g'
    • However, if you point your browser here [escamovie.com] , here [escamovie.com], or here [escamovie.com] you can download the various different quality full length trailers, which will play fine with the latest version of mplayer [mplayerhq.hu].

      And, damn, that dub is terrible...
  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:32PM (#2898912) Homepage Journal
    Please!!!!!

    Yeah I know the movie starts with a bunch of terrorists blowing up a Martian colony, but everyone who's seen the fansub that's floating around says it kicks ass, and the series is certainly one of the best anime series I've seen. It's easily in Evangelion and Lain's league.

    Besides, you can't NOT like CowBe...it's got Radical Edward!!!

    • Rumors rumors...

      They say Columbia Tristar has it (since they're a subsidary of Sony), and Sony Entertainment had a hand in making the movie.

      Give it time. They're releasing that one Arnold movie that was indefinitely postponed following the attacks, so I don't see Bebop's release here being delayed at all.

      Let's just hope they do the same as CTHD with it (subtitled, nation-wide release).
    • This just got released on DVD here in Japan. Got my copy yesterday..
    • What? Cowboy Bebop and Lain are leagues ahead of that drivel known as Evangelion.
    • In my opinion, it (and Ed/Ein) kicks as much ass as the Escaflowne movie sucks ass. I tried to watch the Escaflowne movie, but it was too painful. Whereas the CB movie is a solid two hours (almost unheard of for anime movies these days, I think) and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
    • Yes. Knocking on Heaven's Door is that good. I've seen it a few times and it's easily one of the best anime movies I've ever seen. In a nutshell, all the things that make the series great (animation, style, humor, great sense of kinetic motion, Ed, etc) are abundant in the movie.

      This isn't to imply that it's just a 30-minute TV episode stretched out to 120 minutes, though... there's excellent pacing, and no filler. Awesome movie!
    • Actually, it isn't a "bunch" of terrorists - just a very small handful. My wife and I borrowed a horibbly poor dub of the movie from one of her cousins last weekend. Even though the bad quality of the tape, the movie is still nice looking and solid. It doesn't drag, even though the story could have been truncated for for a 30 minutes episode, it works nicely in the 120 minutes movie (making you think what they could have done if all the stories in the series took up 120 minutes as opposed to 30-60 minutes). And, for the Ed and Ein fans out there - Ed really shines brightly in the movie and Ein gleefully follows her lead.
    • I'd rate the CB:KoHD about the same as a good episode in the series, but not on par with the best episodes. A little bit of a disappointment, as I had high hopes for the movie after the series. And it was "only" good, not excellent.

      There are lots of excellent anime movies, including Ghost in the Shell, Mononoke Hime, Laputa, Porco Rosso, Totoro (now THAT's an excellent one, for whole family, young and old)..

      On the series & OVA side, my list of favs starts usually with Area 88 and Gundam 0080 War in th Pocket, but there are so many that a comprehensive list is impossible to write from memory, and would take too much space anyway.

      Of course taste is subjective, and differs from person to person. I'd guess from Your mention of Eva and Lain that ours might differ a little, as I'd say both Eva and Lain are good, but not very early on my list.

      Eva starts well, then falls a little (some say a lot), and the end is anybody's guess (pick Your ending - I'm not sure which I like best).

      Lain has EXCELLENT use of sound, but otherwise it's not all that special.

      Key the Metal Idol is sometimes compared to Lain, and there are similarities. I'd say Key had more potential, but felt like after halfway suddenly the crew noticed that they have to bring it to end at once while they had planned for twice the length it ended as.

      However, with those preferences You might want to check Gasaraki. I'm still waiting for my last disc, but up to that I'd say it's been very good.
      • Eva starts well, then falls a little (some say a lot), and the end is anybody's guess (pick Your ending - I'm not sure which I like best).

        I have to strongly, strongly disagree with you here. Eva starts strong, gets a little weak around eposides 9-12 (the introduction of Asuka with that silly "syncronized dance" episode), and then just takes off and becomes phenomenal. The first ending is a little too abrupt for my taste, but the End of Eva movies have scenes in them with as much emotional impact of any great tragedy (the death of Dr. Akagi, in my opinion, was one of the best-written tragic moments in history - Shakespeare has nothing on Anno here). To sum up, Evangelion is a masterpiece - Cowboy Bebop is, well, fun.
    • Actualy I have it up on my webserver right now (so a friend could download it). I could just paste in a URL and you could have it. Sigh. But that would put me over my bandwidth cap ;p

      Actualy the opening scene is of jet and spike busting up a convinece stand up. It was pretty intresting.

      A little later, there is a huge explosion on a freeway on mars, and every nearby dies of a mysterious disease. That's the introduction to the actual plot of the film, btw.
  • I saw Metropolis on opening day and the theatre was half empty - and the film was only in theatres for around a month after that.

    Metropolis was a bit of a letdown. The art direction was mostly just ugly for the first 45 minutes of the movie, and the animation quality was inconsistent from character to character and scene to scene. The use of computer animation made for some beautiful backgrounds, but they were often completely incongruous with ugly hand drawn foregrounds. The last 30 minutes were wonderful, though, and it was worth seeing for that alone.
  • It's beautifully animated and full of exciting fight scenes. The big story, though, with the prophesy and crazy powerful people doing crazy things, is just plain stupid, with really overdone and tiresome religious/philosophical angst.

    What it reminds me of is The Matrix, which I enjoyed watching once just for the cool special effects, but didn't feel like watching again. I feel almost exactly the same about the Escaflowne movie. I'm not going to spoil it, but there were things that made me cringe nearly as much as the "they're using us for batteries" scene.

    The series is better (at least what I've seen of it), but the movie's definitely worth watching for anyone who can happily sit and admire beautiful animation without being bothered too much by an unintentionally ridiculous story.
    • " It's beautifully animated and full of exciting fight scenes. The big story, though, with the prophesy and crazy powerful people doing crazy things, is just plain stupid, with really overdone and tiresome religious/philosophical angst."

      I'm not an anime nut and haven't seen too many anime movies, however every anime movie that I have seen has been exactly what you just described. I was starting to think that what you mention was a description of the genre. . .
      • Probably because you're only seeing the stuff they're putting in theatres? Tired of angst? Watch some Slayers sometime. Crazy powerful Lina Inverse doing crazy things, but silly and BOFHish instead of angst.
  • on DVD, and Im not talking the crappy verion you can pick up for 9.99 on Amazon [amazon.com] either

    They talk about it here [dvdtalk.com]
    • That 9.99$ USD copy might be more interesting than you think. First off, in Canada you can buy it at Walmart for 6.88$ CDN new (about 4.20$ USD). Second, it's encoded for region 1 DVD.

      I mailed the MPAA about this. See, the prices on DVDs between Canada are within 1 to 5$ of each other numerically, but are way off when you calculate the value straight across -- Canadian DVDs always seem to be cheaper. Why are the prices artificially low?

      Then you see things like this movie, released 3 quarters of a century ago in Germany. What point does region coding serve? It's not like any parts of the world are still showing it in theatres. The entire argument of region coding as a means of protecting theatre owners is proved WRONG by little things like this.
    • The origional Metropolis edit has been lost entirely.
  • Sure enough ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2002 @11:55PM (#2898976)


    Slashdot (to MPAA): You fucking fascists. We hate you.
    MPAA: But look at these shiny colors!
    Slashdot: Oooh! How much?
    • Idiot.

      The only companies that release anime and are associated with the MPAA are:

      Columbia/Tristar and Manga Video.

      So if you buy a dvd from one of them, you must make a contribution to the EFF.

      Otherwise, you can enjoy Kenshin, Evangelion, and many other series without having to make a donation to the EFF/ACLU/other-freedom-fighting-organization-of-yo ur-choice.
  • I miss living in Washington, D.C. soooo much. There are little theatres all over the place there, 25 maybe 30 seats to a screen. It's like a private showing. And they get all these great small-release films. I'm sure this release of Metropolis will find its way there in a month or so.

    So what do I do? I move to Minot, North Dakota to get married. There are 13 screens in the entire town, and five of them were showing Harry Potter for 7 weeks, three more were showing Monsters, Inc for 6 weeks. WTF?

    Everything you've ever heard about North Dakota is true.
    • Everything you've ever heard about North Dakota is true.
      I don't know... according to the IMDB, the allegedly true story that is Fargo didn't actually happen. That's too bad, that movie was cinema gold.
  • Trend (Score:2, Informative)

    by Milinar ( 176767 )
    This seems to be becoming a trend. Out here in western mass, a local theatre ran a print of "Spriggan" for less than a week, and I think very few people showed up. I hope more anime films come out this week (and all over, too) but I can't blame theatre owners for looking at the numbers and deciding that another theatre for Riding In Cars with Boys would make more money.
  • note I am not bashing escaflowne because I'm a hardcore anime fan and I really like escaflowne the movie

    however my real comment is that I don't know if that anime is really being presented to the public that it's unknown to, sure escaflowne is a great series and movie, but what about Ah My Goddess the Movie, a fairly unknown anime in the US, cept in Samgoody stores...
    Or such other obscure anime that has a following online, but rairly are they able to communicate with other anime fans in person. there are so many good specials and series out there, but they don't get watched because the networks decided that they need to kill the plot by cutting scenes and screwing up translations. the massive amount of following around Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke) after its big release is one of the only ways a show seems to get following, because the majority of people won't shell out for the dvd's cause they may not like them and the networks are to scared to show them
  • Funny, I just read this post as I bought my copy of Metropolis DVD today in Kinokuniya bookstore in San Francisco. They even let you have a pin of one of the hero. This version is Japanese (not region 1) and without English subtitles (there may be I am not sure) and it plays beautifully with VideoLan+DeCSS plugins on my AMD box.

    For those of you who are waiting for the release on DVD with English subtitles, and bitching at the US being still centralized around a few spots only (the ones with an Asian population big enough to make the release of the movie worth, all according to these idiots who own theaters), let me tell you that it is so-so, not so good. The story is ok but I was expecting way better from 2 super stars put together to make this anime. So don't be too mad, ok?

    PPA, the Japanese girl next door.
  • Anybody know if it's playing in the Twin Cities area? I'm a fan and I want to see this movie.
  • by stevarooski ( 121971 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @12:52AM (#2899183) Homepage
    Disclaimer: I used to be--and mostly remain--very much not an anime fan, due mostly to the art style of most animes. However, I've been 'turned on' through friends to a few abolutely stunning stories that happen to be conveyed using anime as a medium.

    Vision of Escaflowne comes in two flavors: series and movie. I'll talk mostly about the series, since I don't want to give out any spoilers. :o) The story is huge, complicated, and very deep, but for those who have no idea what the anime is about, perhaps reading this post will help.

    Escaflowne tells the story of a 15 year old named Hitomi, a athletic Japanese highschool student who also happens to have a strange talent for 'hunches.' This comes out in her skill at foretelling the future using ordinary tarot cards. One day, when trying to break her speed record in the 100 yard dash, she has a strange vision that ends up dragging her into a strange alternate world called Gaea. Gaea is a land somewhere 'in space' out beyond the earth and the moon that has something to do with the sunken kingdom of Atlantis (to say more would ruin it). It is populated mostly by humans, along with many types of half-human-half-beast people. Although Gaea is by and large peaceful, when Hitomi arrives the entire land is plunged into brutal war, country by country, by a Gaean realm called the Zaibach Empire. The results of this war will determine the fate of Gaea.

    From here, Hitomi is thrown into a series of adventures that change her outlook on life and most importantly teaches her much about herself. The entire time, she misses her home and wants to go back (Earth is known in Gaea as the 'Mystic Moon') but begins to care about the people she meets. In addition, her fortunetelling skills are mysteriously enhanced and become a major part of her life.

    Unfortunately, to say much more about the story would ruin it for the newcomer. The plotline is very deep, and digs into several 'human' concepts such as destiny, fate, and luck. Family and chivalry are also very important and the source of some major themes. In addition, the mystery of lost Atlantis is somehow involved.

    Battles in Gaea are fought by huge robots (think Mechwarrior with swords) called 'Guymelefs,' even though the tech level of Gaea is supposedly stea-engine level. These 'guymelefs' are for the most part huge robot samuri, and are very interesting. Although there isn't really 'magic' in Gaea (at least not in the D&D magic-missle-everything style), there is a lot of unexplained natural phenomenon that are harnessed by the locals, such as rocks that levitate--'wandering earth.'

    Escaflowne tells an amazing story and is a good introduction to good anime. I won't say much more about the plot (don't want to give too much away), but it will hook you and drag you along for a fantastic ride. The series is 26 episodes long, and basically continues one story.

    Other animes you might want to watch if you liked Escaflowne, or don't know if you want to rent/download it and watch it are Cowboy Bebop and Lain. Bebop is the best anime I've ever seen and one of the best stories I've been told in a long time. Lain is disturbing, but brilliant. Still, I would say that Escaflowne is a great place to start in on anime and definitely worth your time. Although it starts slow (at the begining, I wanted to throttle most of the characters), the character development is fantastic, and the story is truly haunting.
    • Yes, the 26-episodes series is fantastic.

      Unfortunately, this is the movie. The Escaflowne movie blows goats. Just think about it for a moment... They're taking a 13-hour miniseries and making a ~100 minute movie out of it. Do you think any of the fantastic plotline will survive?
      • It's what some of us call the Akira Syndrome: take a massive story and crush it into a single movie. It'll suck badly.

        Akira was visually splendid, but a great deal of story was lost.

        X/1999 was visually amazing, but MOST of the story got lost (especially since the printed version wasn't even FINISHED yet in Japan.)

        (Thankfully, at least X/1999 is getting a series to tell the story. Akira had no such luck, but did at least the entire manga is being printed for US audiences.)
  • by Tide ( 8490 ) <chad@@@chadsdomain...com> on Friday January 25, 2002 @01:24AM (#2899304) Homepage
  • That anime is beginning to get more recognition on the big screen. A lot of people, even with such titles as Akira, Princess Mononoke, and Ghost in the Shell playing in the theatres, still believe that anime is "Just For Kids (TM)." I think most of /. would agree that anime is for everyone across the board. It's a damn shame that most of the great things in anime (albeit somewhat graphic) get butchered to death when they come to the US. One good example of this would be "A Kite." Yes, it's hentai, but it's still worth watching unedited. I managed to get a DivX version of the director's cut. Aside from some of the sex scenes (which some people claim is child pornagraphy, even though all of the girls are in college), it's one hell of a movie. I will definitely be sending my order in to AnimeNation when I get my next paycheck.

    Most of the anime fans here at /. already know that there are a lot of hidden gems of anime still not leaving Japan. Two animes that I'm anxious to get my hands on are Love Hina (which is out, from what I understand... although I can't seem to order it from anywhere...) and Hellsing (you gotta love that 13mm deagle-style gun). I know there are a ton of other lost gems waiting for the world to find them. The fact that companies are bringing them to the US proves it.

    I guess this is one of the few times I'm happy I live in Los Angeles. I can at least drive down and see Metropolis this weekend.
    • Hellsing's got US optioning in the US. Having seen the first 2 eps at New Year's Eve, I must state that it's probably one of the best vampire things I've seen in a long, long time, even compared to things like 'Blood' and 'Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust'. (Blood was irritating, but VHD:B had a VERY interesting twist to it which I enjoyed.) Besides, a vampire hunting other vampires with gun forged from a melted-down churck bell? Sign me up for the series!
  • I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned the amazing soundtrack to the series. Yoko Kanno did an amazing job. Her music helped make Tenkuu no Escaflowne one of my all-time favorite anime series. Maybe I should start a "shadow of doubt" fanclub ;-)
  • Not too many comments on this film, here is my take. I have to warn that some might take this as a spoiler.

    I saw it at a film festival last fall, and the story is a sort of typical (based on my limited experience on anime) with simple characters, cybernetics and a massively destructive ending. Nothing special there.

    The art, however, is something else. Apparently at least partially computer generated backgrounds of the city, obviosly inspired by the Fritz Lang's Metropolis, are amazing. There are some scenes where the backgrounds really take your breath away, with some of the characters on foreground and huge cog wheels or fish tanks on the background, with carefully considered lighting.

    This film is worth seeing because of the art, not the story, and on the biggest screen possible

  • For those of you who don't know, Escaflowne the movie is considerably different from Escaflowne the television series; people refer to it as an "alternate universe" telling of the story, where Hitomi appears considerably later in Zaibach's war of conquest, and things on Gaia are considerably darker. The most startling difference is that some characters in the movie can use a form of magic, something which did not come up in the series.

    Overall, where the series has plenty of humor, political intrigue, romantic subplots and character development, the movie seems to be more for the sake of eye candy than anything else, although the overall "message" seems to be the same. Watch this if you want to see some really cool battles and assassination scenes. Just don't expect it to be anything like the series.

    Of course, this is just my opinion. YMMV.

  • Though Metropolis may be Columbia/Tristar's first anime release, it won't be their last. AnimeOnDVD [animeondvd.com] reported yesterday that the DVD release of Metropolis (expected in March) will come with a special mini-DVD that will contain trailers of Metropolis itself, FF: The Spirits Within, and... Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door.

    If there's one anime movie that has a good shot of breaking the US market wide open it's Cowboy Bebop. Think about it, they have a ready-made market created by Cartoon Network, and everyone who has ever seen a 572398572th generation fansub (or digisub ^^) will /drag/ their friends out to see it, it's that good.

    -inq

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