Monday, June 7, 2010

Dragon Age As New FUNi Anime

Early this year FUNimation announced plans to begin creation of original anime productions, and launched a new department designed for just that.

Their first production is to be the highly successful Dragon Age franchise; yes, the game by BioWare, you know, that game that we all bought and played because it seemed like we were never going to get Mass Effect 2?

The truth is, FUNimation's announcement about making co-produced, or original anime, is nothing that other companies haven't tried before; though with Navarre's recent decision to put the company out on the sales block, has a few people wondering if this is the right thing to do at this time. I supposed if there is the money to do this then, why not?

The Dragon Age game was a good title to have made into a feature, no doubt. But what the heck is up with all these game franchises getting the Ani-treatment? Don't get me wrong, I'm as curious as the next person to see what this thing is gonna look like, but I would have imagined that FUNimation, would have found a more Japanese title to begin their springboard into the anime foray with; not an actual North American video game.

According to FUNimation, the production is already underway, and the direct to video product will see shelves sometime in 2011. Which doesn't get me shivering with excitement, since lately a lot of FUNimation's titles are seeing the bottom of the pantry a long time before they see my dinner plate! So I won't be holding my breath for an early 2011 release at all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

xxxHolic Rou

There are some OADs that come along and while based on a section of manga from a particular series, don't always equal "easy to understand". In fact, in some instances; the manga material, and the anime material may be so far removed from one another that it begins to resemble daylight, and dark.

This isn't so much the case with xxxHolic Rou, the latest OAD that continues the series where xxxHolic - Shunmuki concludes. However, even though Shunmuki seems more like a conclusion to the previous series xxxHolic - Kei, in truth; they are separated by many events within the manga.

Such is also the case between Shunmuki, and Rou. The Viewer is left feeling that there are some major things that happen between them, and to be honest, there are. But from a manga only point of view, it isn't anything that we really can't live without. Oh, sure there will be the occasional thing here and there that I'm sure the viewers will want to absolutely see; but it seems that the best selections from here on out, are what we are getting.

Since the beginning of xxxHolic, it has always been an underlying feeling that Watanuki was destined for far more than being the spastic and elastic character he had started out as. Somewhere around the middle of the series, we get the feeling that he has an important part to play later on with both Yuko, and the shop. This of course is realized in the 15th volume of the manga, and the subsequent OAD, xxxHolic Rou.

What you will not see in this OAD is a lot of the usual crazy antics from Watanuki, nor will you be seeing more than a few minutes of actual screen time for Yuko. This is Watanuki's story now, and as he dons the title of shopkeeper, it is clear, that his tutor has more than prepared him for the tasks ahead.

Like I mentioned before, there isn't really a whole lot going on in this 40 some-odd minute OAD, but it is enough to make you really appreciate the direction of the show, and to really eat up the new type of interaction that Doumeki and Watanuki have. Even Kohane makes several appearances, and lends the return of a familiar face to the isolated Watanuki experience.

This is one brief bit of anime that will really have the fans reaching for the Manga volumes in tall order.