Free Anime!
August 27, 2001 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Free Anime! Manga Entertainment will stream their new release Blood: The Last Vampire on the Web for 24 hours Tuesday, while simultaneously showing the film at theaters in Los Angeles and New York. They will then sell DVDs of the movie online and in retail stores. [More inside.]
posted by Dirjy (28 comments total)
I posted this not only to alert those who would have an interest in watching this, but also to point out this interesting method of marketing.

Magna is essentially letting you have the basic plot, acting and animation for free. The 'value add' (as the corporate tools say) is in the picture quality and sound.

So, if you are fussy about the presentation (and what anime fan isn't), they are banking that you would be willing to pay for it. Are you?
posted by Dirjy at 8:44 AM on August 27, 2001

Im a casual anime fan. I heard about the DVD release awhile back. It looks promising. Kudos to Manga for using unorthodox promotions. Im sure they will reap the rewards for thinking forward.
posted by Qambient at 8:58 AM on August 27, 2001

hopefully it won't dissapoint me as much as ghost in the shell.. btw, the movie is being shown here. i doubt i'm going to go out any buy it though.. i haven't paid for anime in years... wonder how many are going to jack the stream? oh well, there'd be no use to, considering you could bootleg off the higher quality dvds and vhses...
posted by lotsofno at 9:13 AM on August 27, 2001

I am not that educated in the bootlegging area...but if you are an anime fan, why would you be proud not to pay for it? Wouldn't you want to support the art you like so much? Or are there other reasons you feel justified in the free pass (lack of fundage, money goes to the wrong people, etc)? I'm not trying to press your buttons here, I am just wondering.

btw...I liked Ghost in the Shell much better the second time. And I just picked up Galaxy Express 999, which is really the kind of anime I always liked. Leiji Matsumoto's stuff may not have been amazing, but always worked for me. I am trying to justify buying all the Star Blazers/ Yamato episodes on DVD...and, of course: Captain Harlock = stupendous badass!

posted by Kafkaesque at 9:45 AM on August 27, 2001

I've been addicted to anime lately. I just started hitting Animefu, an anime review site run by Cmdr Taco from Slashdot and others. If you want to see great anime, Cowboy Bebop.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:13 AM on August 27, 2001

kafka, most of the anime i watch is either on tv (i.e dbz, escaflowne) or not released in the U.S. or even translated yet (i.e. Candidate for Goddess.). it's not that i'm proud to not be paying for anime, but there's no anime i really need to buy! i've already seen the "classics" by renting from blockbuster and friends coming over telling me "you have to see this." mostly, i'm watching downloads of shows that have just come out, and fans have translated, to distribute in the U.S. Most of the creators of the show have no problem with Fansubbing, and in fact encourage it, as it helps get the show popular over here and may even lead to licensing from a bigger company like bandai, if there's enough fans who back it up. of course, the fansubbers passing-around of the fansubbed anime in the community is usually discontinued once the show is licensed.

i dunno... there was just so much hype behind ghost in the shell and it was a big let down for me... it's usually held up so high, when i don't think it matches up to the likes of other anime movies such as perfect blue, princess mononoke, or the crazy-action in ninja scroll.
posted by lotsofno at 10:16 AM on August 27, 2001

Cool, lotsofno. Thanks for not freaking out at my question. I agree about Princess Mononoke and Perfect Blue. Both were excellent. My wife and I had a discussion the other day about how hard it is to find good anime. We have recently been traumatized by rather pooptacular efforts such as X...and Fist of The NorthStar...which I had always heard was good but made me laugh out loud until I could be bothered to turn it off.

I would love any recommendations, as I am getting tired of crappy animes!

thanks again
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:22 AM on August 27, 2001

btw the nick.

How does he post
When he can't even blink?

posted by Kafkaesque at 10:24 AM on August 27, 2001

I'm a big fan of Cowboy Bebop, Ninja Scroll and Mononoke. Another good one is the 13-episode Lain series. It's a bit dense--reminds me of Twin Peaks in that you never really know what's going on--but, man, is it cool!
posted by jpoulos at 10:39 AM on August 27, 2001

fist of the north star is great. you just have to recall that it was an early effort.

posted by fishfucker at 10:49 AM on August 27, 2001

To be honest, Mr Fucker des Poissons, I think the problem may also be that I saw the movie-version as opposed to all the separate episodes. It kind of seemed like they had trimmed away anything but the battles, until there was not even a shred of story left.

Also, it kind of made me wonder...why bother with all the fisticuffs if you can just, you know, explode people's heads by looking at them.

I thought Battle Angel was OK too, mostly just because I liked the books though.

posted by Kafkaesque at 10:54 AM on August 27, 2001

Note to self: read Eyeballkid's profile before assuming what his nick refers to.

*full of shame*

posted by Kafkaesque at 11:21 AM on August 27, 2001

k - No worries.

jpoulos mentions Lain, I also want to throw out one more anime title, the one that anime fans are rabid over the last year or so, and that's Neon Genesis: Evangelion. The only problem with collecting anime like NG Eva is that most of the good stuff is laid out in 26+ episodes series. They will never be shown unedited on American television and they cost between $19 and $30 for a three episode disc. That's why what Manga is doing is so cool. I'd love to try before I buy, but instead I'm stuck relying on reviews or misleading previews.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:39 AM on August 27, 2001

Eva I'd also heartily recommend.

Unfortunately: I've seen Blood, and it's not very good. It's short (half an hour to forty-five minutes) and though it's got some neat visuals, what story there is is muddled--hinting at some interesting things, perhaps, but never giving you enough to go on. It seems self-defeating to show it for free; it doesn't feel like the sort of thing you'd want to own and watch again.
posted by dreamless at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2001

I agree with dreamless about Blood. It looks great, but it's way too short to justify paying for it unless you're a rabid fan.
I've been watching any Miyazaki I could get my hands on (Mononoke, Castle of Cagliostro, Totoro), and I like Akira and Ghost in the Shell for their supertrippy visual style. Lain was a bit too pale for my taste.
posted by muckster at 1:05 PM on August 27, 2001

I forgot to mention the Trigun series, which draws from the American Western (as in Wild Wild West) tradition. I've only seen 4 episodes, but they were a lot of fun. I concur with eyeballkid that Evangelion rocks, but when it comes to part of me still prefers Mobile Suit Gundam Wing when it comes to Mecha suits.

Can anyone tell me anything about Martian Successor Nadesico or Bubblegum Crisis - Tokyo 2040? Is it kid stuff?
posted by jpoulos at 1:16 PM on August 27, 2001

Rurouni Kenshin is also really good and you can get practically the entire series from Amazon.

But something really needs to be done about this. It will be a crying shame if no more Miyazaki films ever see the light of day.

*sigh*. I had a bad feeling this might happen... I guess we'll be bootlegging after all.
posted by mjane at 1:28 PM on August 27, 2001

I've seen a bit of the beginning of Nadesico (don't really remember how far I got) and I'd say it's pretty much light stuff, kind of funny. If you've watched a lot of anime, especially the old mecha shows, there's tons of in-jokes. I'd agree with everyone else's recommmendations -- Lain, Eva, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, all good stuff.
posted by e^2 at 1:38 PM on August 27, 2001

I can't believe no one else has mentioned Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka). This is a classic -- excellent characterization, and a real heartbreaker. It shows what a powerful storytelling tool animation can be.
posted by Dirjy at 1:42 PM on August 27, 2001

ah, everyone has been making great suggestions.. Evangelion is a must see, even if you aren't into the whole existential mecha thing. Trigun is also a great watch.. You can usually get the whole series (subtitled) on VCD for cheap on ebay, but... it's mostly bootlegged stuff. jpoulos, the feel changes dramatically after the first four episodes, but it is still one of the best shows i've ever seen.

if you're looking for some drama, Grave of the Fireflies will make you cry like you're watching the Transformers movie all over again. one of the best movies i've seen that we haven't mentioned yet.

you know, lain was actually okay... the intro song and opening is outright the best i've ever seen on ANY show. i'll send the mp3 to anyone whose interested. though the plot was confusing, it seemed nice... until the fifth episode... i was just freaked out by the whole thing and put it down.

jpoulos, i've seen the first four episodes to bubblegum crisis and it was okay.. the plot wasn't the best, nor the characters, but i was still interested in seeing more. didn't really seem like kid stuff to me, then again with only seeing four episodes, i could be wrong.
posted by lotsofno at 1:48 PM on August 27, 2001

doh.. waited too long to post. yeah, kenshin is great too. if you don't want to commit yourself to like a hundred episodes though, you can get the OVA mini-movie, Samurai X, which comes on two tapes.
posted by lotsofno at 1:50 PM on August 27, 2001

ah yes, gundam wing. the yaoi fans love that one.
if you're looking for some good series, and don't mind some robotic action, check out:

- patlabor movies 1 and 2
- macross plus (the 4-episode OAV series and the movie edition are both different worthy seeing; i recommend the series, then the movie.
- orguss 02 (a 4 episode series, also excellent)
- dominion tank police, the 4 episode series (there is another, 6 episode one: i thought the 4 episode one, which was the earlier, was more impressive).
- the irresponsible captain tylor

the rest of the good stuff:

- laputa: castle in the sky
- bastard!! (yes, the exclamation points are a part of the title - 6 episodes)
- dragon half (2 episodes)
- more i can't recall

if you're interested, vampire hunter d might be something to try if you're comfortable with a bit of anime. it's not a show i've personally seen, but the show's character designer is also the principle character designer of Square's popular RPG series, Final Fantasy.
posted by moz at 2:19 PM on August 27, 2001

OK, one last one:

Iria: Zeiram the Animation.

It's quick (6 episodes) and relatively cheap (all six on one DVD). She's an apprentice bounty hunter searching for her brother (also her mentor) and fighting the evil Zeriam, who's one of the weirdest looking monsters I've seen. I won't give away any more.

Also, she's a hottie.
posted by jpoulos at 3:54 PM on August 27, 2001

ha, i didn't mention iria because i thought i'd be the only guy who liked it, 'cause i was biased as it was one of the first animes i actually sat through. they used to show it on sci-fi on saturday mornings and it'd blow me away. i had a girlfriend buy the 3 vhs cassetes for me as a graduation present last year and it was one of the coolest gifts i've ever gotten. oh, and she's got a dope-as-hell rifle/shotgun.
posted by lotsofno at 5:28 PM on August 27, 2001

Just so you all know, I am crazy for Ghost in the Shell and have been since I first saw it. The only problem is it needs a sequel SO BADLY...

Of course, being a fairly new anime fan, I hadn't heard "all of the hype" so perhaps it's a bit of "blockbuster syndrome" which hampered your enjoyment of GitS??
posted by fooljay at 10:05 PM on August 27, 2001

for many who didn't particularly like GitS, the disappointment was the simple fact that the movie did not (nor, really, could not) do the manga series justice. but you could say that about most anime.

if you liked GitS, you must check out the patlabor movies. they're directed by the same person (Oshii Mamoru) and are simply masterpieces of the genre. i have not been an avid fan of anime for years, but i can still say that i would put up those two movies with any other critically acclaimed movie any day. they are spectacular.
posted by moz at 10:57 PM on August 27, 2001

fooljay, i know there's a ghost in the shell 2 manga out.... not sure if they're planning a movie or if the manga is translated though... but if you need it that bad, you can get the mangas on ebay...
posted by lotsofno at 7:13 AM on August 28, 2001

watching blood right now... this is pretty cool... well, i still have some major gripes:

i couldn't find a schedule for when the movie starts and ends, and i accidentally saw the last 15 minutes first...
i'm not sure how to fix the gamma on realplayer (certainly not under preferences) and since most of the cool scenes are in the dark, it pretty much sucks for me...
posted by lotsofno at 6:53 PM on August 28, 2001

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