Aim for the top!? Licencing strikes twice!

July 4, 2006 on 1:06 am | In Anime Industry News | 8 Comments

Nothing says “licencing” quite like an orange box full of abandoned cat girls.

Licences have been remarkably thin on the ground these past two years, but at Anime Expo the licensors have decided that it’s time to bring new titles to the market. The notable titles, that I am even vaguely qualified to comment on, are as follows:

Gunbuster, Bandai Visual: After years in licence hell, Gunbuster finally is going to get the wide English language release that it deserves. Gunbuster is one of my favourite shows and, despite its rough start, it offers quite possibly the single greatest ending to any medium ever. I know I was on the verge of tears. I know that my friend, who has no emotion ever, was also on the edge.
Possibly because of the expert application of physics present in the series, but the principle remains the same: Gunbuster is excellence, no matter which way you slice it. It’s also notable for a cameo by Totoro, and I can’t wait for it to break into the world.
Last year, when I attended a convention panel for Madman Entertainment at Manifest, I asked president Tim Anderson if Gunbuster was a series the company was interested in, or if the licencing issues made it untouchable. Tim said that it was one of their dream series, so I’m looking forward to seeing if Gunbuster will bust loose on Australia and fulfill all of our hyper space relativity dreams.

(By the way, if you loved the themes in Gunbuster, read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. It is a similarly stirring exploration of many of the same concepts.)

Black Lagoon, Geneon: So this one isn’t a surprise at all: Geneon sponsored the show and they’re in the credits. I think that this has “blockbuster” written all over it, and I hope that the audience will realise fast enough that they should patronise the program and recognise it for what it is: taut action with fun characters and virtually no cause for complaint. Something can be entertaining without its intellectual fibre being called into question.

Paradise Kiss, Geneon: All of the shows of the past two years, and they choose this one. I understand the appeal of the title, based on the success of the manga in the US, but Paradise Kiss as an anime has the effect of making me want to stab my brain out for having to deal with such idiotic characters who have few endearing qualities.
For all of his faults, Kobayashi Osamu’s Beck is a much more entertaining and compelling program, but that’s the subject of another article that I chose not to publish a month back. For Paradise Kiss, I pity Geneon and I pity those who will buy it in the expectation of it being quality.

And still more licencing announcements to come! Well, at least one. Time was I was always excited by licences. That’s the sad thing about the current state of the industry: licencing sure has died down. Buy more anime, people!


  1. “it offers quite possibly the single greatest ending to any medium ever.”

    You couldn’t be more right. I’ve never cried to any piece of media before but I was so damn close after watching the last episode. It was such an amazing feeling which lingered around for a long time after finishing it. I’ve only watched the last episode 1 time for fear of ruining that feeling due to overexposure (while I’ve watched episodes 1-5 an uncountable amount of times). I’m due for another viewing of episode six. That’ll happen when Bandai Visual’s great release finally hits the stores.

    I really hope Madman releases it for you guys over there.

    Comment by KT Kore — July 4, 2006 #

  2. I love the orange box picture even though I can’t tell where it came from.

    I can’t wait for the Black Lagoon release. I still feel unsatisfied though because the show will only be 12 episodes long. It has the potential for much more. Who knows? Maybe if the manga sells well, we could get a second season.

    I never watched Gunbuster so I can’t really say much about its ending but I did watch Nurse Angel Ririka and I did watch Basilisk and the ending for both of them made me break into tears (a lot of tears!!).

    It’s remarkable how a magical girl show like Ririka which is full of faults and weak points can produce such a notorious ending that never quite disappeared form my mind. As for Basilisk, I knew how the show will end from a mile away and yet the ending still managed to break me into tears which makes it even more powerful. Another example which you are familiar with is Emma. For most of the last few episodes I had tears in my eyes not because the scenes were tragic but because I am watching one of the most tragic characters in anime history (namely Emma). It wasn’t pity but I rather felt that she carried all the worries of the world on her shoulders and she never complained and carried on with her life. A truly remarkable and tragic woman who deserved more but never got what she deserved. I guess I’m more sentimental than your average guy.

    Comment by Mohammad — July 4, 2006 #

  3. I do believe there was rumors of Black Lagoon OVAs as the manga stories unfold… Of course, making a buttload of money in America always helps move things along

    And let’s not forget Pani Poni Dash! It’s the licencing of the year dot com

    Comment by Crayotic Rockwell — July 4, 2006 #

  4. Let’s hope so.

    I’m actually quite surprised that PPD got licensed. It didn’t look like the kind of show anime companies in the US would pick.

    Comment by Mohammad — July 4, 2006 #

  5. One of the few very worthwhile series to have been recently licensed is Ergo Proxy. That’s something to look forward.

    And “Forever War” is a great book. Solid writing, and part of a small collection of science fiction novels with a good thematic base, rather than the trashy ones you typically see.

    Comment by Michael — July 4, 2006 #

  6. The box is labeled みかん “mikan”, which means “unpublished”.

    Comment by Steven Den Beste — July 5, 2006 #

  7. “mikan” also means “incomplete, unfinished”.

    Comment by Steven Den Beste — July 5, 2006 #

  8. Yes, but in the context of a box it means “oranges”.

    Comment by Alex — July 7, 2006 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^