MVM are now one of the leading UK anime distributors and their licenses for 2007 reflect that. The likes of Ah! My Goddess TV and Saiyuki Reload are likely to be as popular with fans as Fullmetal Alchemist was, and there is plenty more to come too. MVM have enjoyed constant growth since they entered the UK anime market and this shows no signs of slowing down. The fact that the loss of FUNimation's crop of titles makes little difference to them is great to see, and the resulting increased control over their own destiny looks set to be exploited to the full. If MVM continue to license titles of the quality of those announced so far then Neo Magazine's Best Anime Distributor award may be heading their way again in 2007...
They Say: 'For first quarter, Ah! My Goddess and Gun Sword.'
We Say: 'Gun Sword looks to be a great mix of high octane giant robot action and wild west cool, whilst Le Portrait de Petite Cossette appears to offer a uniquely dark and twisted horror story. We can't wait to see them!'
It's all well and good telling you the names of all these new
titles, but what are they about? Read on and find out...
Ah! My Goddess TV
The Ah! My Goddess (also known as Oh! My Goddess)
manga started back in the 1980's in Japan, and spawned an anime
mini-series, film and cutesy spin-off, all of which are available
from MVM. However, it was only in 2005 that it finally
made it to a 26 episode anime series. The story follows the
hapless student Keiichi Morisato who gets a lot more than he expects
when he tries to make a call and gets the number wrong. He
ends up speaking to the Goddess Helpline, and when the Goddess
Belldandy appears in his mirror he wishes she could be his
girlfriend. Belldandy grants his wish and before he knows it
Keiichi is living in a disused temple with her and her sisters Urd
and Skuld! However, does Belldandy really love him, or is she
just fulfilling his wish? Ah! My Goddess' mix of Norse
Mythology (Belldandy is a Japanese pronunciation of Verdandi, one of
the 'Norns' who weave the threads of fate) and Japanese odd-couple
romantic comedy has proven very popular through the years, and it
should continue to be.
Riding the crest of a wave of popularity for gothic horror that has
gripped Japan in the last couple of years, Le Portrait de Petite
Cossette is a strange and very creepy series. The story
focuses on Eiri Kurahashi, a student who works part-time in an
antique shop. One day Eiri notices an image of a beautiful
girl in an antique glass, but is shocked to find that she is moving.
Moments from the girls life, relics from 250 years in the past, play
out before his eyes and as he sees more he becomes infatuated with
the girl and her life. One night he somehow makes contact with
her, learning that she is called Cossette and that she needs his
help to escape from the glass and her tragic fate. Le
Portrait de Petite Cossette boasts some great imagery and an
incredibly dark storyline that gets increasingly disturbing as it
wears on. The three episode mini-series is being released in a
single volume by MVM, who will be hoping that it can emulate
the success it has enjoyed in both America and Japan.
Definitely one for horror fans to look out for.
Gun Sword (also known as GUNxSWORD) is a new series
very much in the traditions of Trigun, with a futuristic wild
west setting and an unusual protagonist. The story follows the
lanky swordsman Van, a wanderer who travels the desert searching for
the clawed man who killed his bride. He is armed with a
special metal cloth that can be turned into a sword and also used to
summon a powerful robot suit and with it he aims to get his revenge.
He tries to keep himself to himself but on his travels he meets a
young girl called Wendy who is searching for her missing brother,
and after he saves her village they begin to travel together.
It isn't going to be an easy quest for either of them though, Van
isn't the only one who can summon robot suits and there are numerous
bandits and vicious enemies between them and their goal.
Gun Sword certainly looks interesting, even if it does sound
suspiciously similar to Fist of the North Star. Still,
Wild West robot battles, shape changing swords and mysterious
villains sound good!
Saiyuki has become very popular in the UK
on the back of the manga release from Tokyopop, and fans have
been eagerly awaiting the anime release for some time. The
story is based around the old Chinese legend Journey to the West,
which saw the Buddhist priest Genjyo Sanzo travel to India to
recover ancient Buddhist scriptures and defeat the demon king
Gyumaoh. On the way he picks up a little band of followers -
the monkey king Son Goku, and demons Sha Gojyo and Cho Hakkai.
The anime and manga series take a lot of liberties, reimagining the
cast as flawed pretty-boys who ride around the mythical world of
Shangri-La in a jeep! Saiyuki Reload is the second
series of the anime (unfortunately the first 50 episode season is
unavailable in the UK) and follows the events of the manga series of
the same name. The series sees Sanzo and co still travelling
West and having to cope with demonic enemies sent by the followers
of Gyumaoh to stop them. It's action-packed, and should prove
MVM have previously released the original Tenchi Muyo! mini-series, plus a special and the first and third movie. Now they get the chance to release the missing second film that was not included in their original licensing deal. Tenchi is the original 'harem' anime, where hapless student Tenchi Muyo ends up living with a group of gorgeous women who all fancy him. Chief rivals for his affections are the demonic space pirate Ryoko and alien princess Ayeka, but others include intergalactic policewoman Mihoshi, Ayeka's younger sister Sasami and Ryoko's mother Washu. Tenchi the Movie 2 Daughter of Darkness sees another beautiful woman join the cast, but this time there's a twist - she's from the future and claims to be Tenchi's daughter! Of course this really ups the ante for Tenchi's admirers, which one of them is the mother? Of course this would all be complicated enough but the machinations of the ancient demon Yuzuha makes it even more so! You know what you'll get with Tenchi, and this looks like good fun!