Saturday, September 22, 2007

What's on Anime Network?

(The headline above will link you to the Anime Nework site.)

One of the nice things about having Cox Digital is having the ‘On Demand’ feature. Aside from allowing us to order movies and special events(which we haven’t done yet) there are also channels called “Freezone” and “My Primetime”. The later currently has programs from the ABC & NBC schedules such as the season finales of LAS VEGAS, 30 ROCK and the yet to be broadcast pilot for BIONIC WOMAN. In Freezone you can check out stuff from various cable networks at any time, but of course you never know what you might get on any particular day.

One of the things you can find every day are selections from “Anime Network”. Usually these are single episodes of AN programs currently being shown on the regular channel and website. Each episode is usually available from two weeks to a month, plus they have a show called DVD DOJO that has previews of up-coming programs and DVD releases due in the next month. While it is generally anime, the show will sometimes have clips from live-action Asian films or videos of Japanese bands & singers. Some episodes have included interviews with people involved in anime, here and in Japan.

I usually try to check out first episodes of new shows, since most don’t give you a recap of ‘what has gone before’ and it’s easy to get lost. As you know if you follow anime the shows have continuing storylines and often a half dozen or more characters involved. Still even watching a later show can be fun depending on the kind of program and how complicated the back story.

Another thing to keep is mind is that some of this stuff is for “Older Teens” or a PG-13 rating. Depending on how you feel about some cursing, T&A and really graphic violence, some of these shows might not be your cup of green tea.

I’m not going to review anything right now, but did want to mention a few shows which some of you might want to seek out. Remember that many of these were once manga titles or have since been adapted into that medium.

MEGAMAN, is a cute super-heroish story of a young boy with a robot body, his family and their cyber-dog. Big robots, nasty aliens and evil scientists make for fun episodes.

AIRGEAR is a future Tokyo where gangs of teens wearing “Air Treks”, basically powered inline skates, allowing them to travel along power lines, over rooftops and other places earthbound skaters could only dream of. Nice stories about teens trying to find their place, fit in and go through the usual ‘coming of age’ things but with martial arts thrown in.

COMIC PARTY REVOLUTION continues the story of the original show, about a group of girls (now in college) trying to make it as manga artists & writers. Plenty of in-jokes for manga & anime fans, with cosplay and the like.

RED GARDEN – I just caught the first episode of this show yesterday and have to rewatch it. A rather grim story of girls who attend a private school on Roosevelt Island (in New York City). Something happened to four female students and they have no memories of the previous night. They also find that besides the partial amnesia other things are different. Generally they have little to do with each other in school, but all find themselves drawn to Central Park. There a mysterious woman tells them that they are dead and must earn the right to return to the world of the living. To do this they must hunt down strange beings. Meanwhile, two NYPD detectives are seeking a connection between a series of suicides of young woman over the past several months. They begin to believe that they might in fact not have taken their own lives, but have been murdered. Creepy, but very intriguing.
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