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1999 Wish List

By Roman Martel     December 31, 1998

Well, it?s been stated before and I?ll state it again, DVD has almost passed it next hurtle, the second holiday season mark. Now here we are with DVDs coming out of our ears, plenty of anime titles to choose from and more on the way. Even Bubblegum Crisis is popping into our hands at last. To top it off, in a recent video store trade magazine (Video Business), I saw a little blurb about the celebration of the 1 millionth DVD player shipped to retail. Of course Divx has not posted their sales or much of anything. I wonder why that is?



Anyway, back to the issue at hand. We anime lovers have a selection of titles to get next year, but we are also seeing a curious lack of certain titles. Now that DVD has a serious foothold in the market I wonder if any of the titles many of us want will make an appearance. Well, I?ve compiled a list of titles I?d like to see and rough estimate of their likelihood to appear on DVD this coming year. So without further ado, here?s my wish list of anime DVD titles.



GUNSMITH CATS



Why this title: Well, I could think of several reasons that GSC should be on DVD. First, all three episodes could be easily put on one disc, to make a 90 minute movie. Next, the sound on this show is very good. I?d love to hear Rally?s Cobra and her CZ75 in digital sound. Finally, it would be a perfect title for ADV to test the water with. It?s a series but it?s short. Not sure if EVA will sell, then test with GSC.



Extras: Here we could have some fun. Not only could you include the behind the scenes short that was offered on the tape, but you could even include a dossier on the weapons and cars used in the series. Comparison drawing with the actual locations in Chicago, (the animation crew went to Chicago to get the fell of the city for the series, and I think it shows). You could even include some images from the Manga series. Interviews with Sonada, and the vocal cast (English and Japanese) would be fun (even if only as text). Of course while I?m dreaming, you could include some character dossiers that include moving images, stills and quotes.



Release Possibility: That depends on how ADV wants to release it: one episode at a time or all three at once. If they?re planning a three-part release, then it won?t happen in the near future. But if they put all three on one disc than it might actually happen. This series already exists on one tape, so a one disc release isn?t too unrealistic. Put on some nifty extras and I?ll get this one right away. (I?m a big GSC fan anyway, so even if they release each one individually, I?ll still get them. But not happily.)



OH MY GODDESS



Why this title: This should be obvious. It?s one of Animeigo?s big guns. This title has proven itself as a sure seller. Not only that, but it?s a good, fun series. The animation is top notch and the voice acting of both crews is some of the best I?ve heard. It will also offer a nice change of pace to the heavily action oriented DVD?s that have been released recently.



Extras: Again we have a great possibility to go nuts here. Interviews, manga comparisons, characters, notes and sketches. If Animeigo wants to they can make this as much fun as Bubblegum Crisis looks like it?s going to be.



Release Possibility: Looks real good. Especially if BGC does well. Like I said above, this is a big gun and it would be silly for Animeigo to not put it out. I would definitely expect to see it next year or the year after that at the latest.



EL HAZARD (OAV)



Why this title: Speaking of big guns, here?s another one from Pioneer. Not only is it a great series, with fun animation and the best voice acting I?ve heard from an English cast, but it does reasonably well for Pioneer. The series itself is a bit long, but if CPM can do Lodoss, and Animeigo can do BGM, then this should not pose too much of a problem.



Extras: Again we?re talking fun stuff here. I?d love to hear the guy who does the voice of Jinnai, not to mention the other actors who bring these fun characters to life. I?ve seen some of the original character sketches for this show and they?d be fun to see on the disc as well.



Release Possibility: Well, Pinoeer has said that they will release all their titles on DVD eventually. That?s fine with me, but I?m not sure if El Hazard will happen in the next year. Pioneer seems to be focused on releasing new titles on DVD first. I?m not complaining; I?m just a big El Hazard fan. But I?ll wait, if they want me to.



NAUSICAA AND THE VALLEY OF THE WIND



Why this title: Not only is it a classic, but it?s also never been released in its complete form here in the states (legally). It would be a pleasure to see this one uncut and with a great dub. The story is engaging, the animation is smooth and fun, and the whole movie delivers quite a punch.



Extras: I?m sure there?s plenty of stuff on this film to be put on the DVD. Interviews with the director, behind-the-scenes information, character backgrounds, manga notes, storyboards, the whole nine yards.



Release Possibility: Looks grim. Not only does Disney have the rights to this show, but they don?t have the DVD rights. Also, Disney is not supporting animation on DVD at this time. Looks like we could be in for a long haul on this puppy.



RUIN EXPLORERS



Why this title: This is a relatively new title on ADV and it?s plenty of fun. Its four episodes long and is filled with the quest and comedy you see in other shows like Slayers. The dub voice acting is fun, and the overall story and animation are very good. This would also be a nice intro for ADV if they want to put out something newer on DVD.



Extras: Hey, you know the drill by now, interviews with he voice actors, manga notes, storyboards, and the usual stuff.



Release Possibility: Depends on how ADV wants to release it. As a series it might sell, (Darkstalkers has the same format) but I think you could put all four episodes on one disc and be just fine. We might see this one at the end of the year; then again, maybe not.



YOU?RE UNDER ARREST



Why this title: Sure it?s sugary sweet at times, but it?s got beautiful animation, and a fun cast. Again the dub on this series is lots of fun. It?s short, only four episodes, and it?s spawned its own television series. What more do you need?



Extras: O.K. I think we all know what I?m going to say by now?



Release Possibility: Can?t be sure on this title. Even though it?s done by the same creator as Oh my Goddess, I don?t know how well it sold here. Animeigo might want to put out some other titles first before this one. But who knows maybe there are more fans for this title than I know about?



Well there you have it. My wish list. Who knows, if I?m still around and if DVD is still around, we?ll check next year and see how many of these made it to production and which ones may be closer than we think. If you like some of these shows also, and if you haven?t already, go sign the petitions for them on the Anime on DVD Website (Oh My Goddess and You?re Under Arrest) and on the Anime DVD Support Campaign (Gunsmith Cats and El Hazard). Right now Ruin Explorers and Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind, don?t have petitions. But hey that could change (hint, hint). Give these titles the boost they need to see the light of day on DVD. Until next time, that?s all from this chatterbox.

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