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Manga Anime Showcase
Distributor Manga Entertainment
Let’s face it; collecting anime is a pretty expensive hobby, especially if you don’t have the patience to wait for a box-set release! The decision to buy individual volumes of a series usually comes down to two things; If you just can’t wait for the box-set, and if you absolutely *know* you’re going to like the series. Otherwise you’re just throwing the Queens money down the drain.
Several anime producers have tried to address this aspect in recent months with the release of compilation DVD’s aimed at drawing in the curious fan. ADV Films came out with their Bento Box in October last year and now Manga Entertainment have joined in with their own Showcase offering.
The DVD features the first episode of Heat Guy J, Otogi Zoshi and Manga's new release for 2007; Noein. It's not a bad selection on paper and covers a range of Manga's traditional, slow paced and weird anime action catalogue but the question is, does the idea work? Well, for the £3.95 they’re asking, it’s not a bad way to explore a number of anime. The main problem is that it’s impossible to judge a series based on just one episode, so the end result still leaves you a bit clueless as to whether or not to commit to a series. Personally, I would’ve preferred them to release the first volume of a series for around a fiver or something. Ok, you would only be getting a preview of one series but it would give people a much better idea of what it’s like and in turn, a better chance for the anime to sink its hooks into you. Not to mention that should you end up liking the series, the money you’ve already spent isn’t wasted.
Ultimately, I have a hard time visualising where Manga Entertainment sees this kind of idea heading. It seems like the kind of thing that would be better served as a freebie on a magazine or something, rather than an individual product. Ok, £3.95 isn’t much but it’s still £3.95 you could be putting towards a DVD that you *actually* want. You’re basically paying for an extended sneak peak of three series’ rather than the episodes themselves and unless you have money to burn, I can’t see it taking off.
From a technical point of view, you only get the English dub track so if you’re a subs fan…well, tuff I’m afraid! The menu selections are also very basic without the option of selecting/skipping chapters within episodes.
There’s a sneak peak of the new Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms film as well as extended previews for Tactics and Tokyo Zombie. The Manga trailers on show are; Karas, GitS:SAC 2nd Gig, Tetsujin 28, Naruto, Heat Guy J and Noein. And to cap it off, they’ve also thrown on a trailer for Naruto Ultimate Ninja on the PS2.
Add a couple of points if you’re the kind of person who makes their mind up about a series after one episode. Otherwise, save your money.