2005 Anime Preview by Rich (Webmaster)

ADV Films were one of the first companies to really make inroads into the UK market after the advent of DVD, and 2004 cemented their place as the largest UK anime distributor.  ADV built a strong catalogue as the year progressed, covering numerous genres with a glut of high quality titles and closing the gap in releases between their UK and US operations to just a few months.  For the first time ADV Films made waiting for a new title to come out in the UK rather than importing from America a viable option, and as the year progressed they even chanced their arm with some risky releases, including several boxsets and some more unusual titles - such as the highly philosophical Kino's Journey - which many fans never expected to see the light of day in the UK.  They do not seem to be slacking for 2005 either and have a large number of releases on the cards...

Nun Better - Rosette Christopher and Chrno are breaking the Habit in February

With strong competition from 2004's big success story MVM, alongside the resurgent Manga Entertainment and Beez, ADV Films certainly have their work cut out to remain the biggest UK distributor in 2005.  However, one look at their release schedule for the first quarter of the year shows they have no intention of falling behind their rivals.  The focus for the start of the year is very firmly on new titles, with the charge being led by the highly anticipated nuns n' demons actioner Chrono Crusade (main pic, above) and the highly anticipated Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition - a remastered version of the seminal series that has had fans drooling in the US.

The GetBackers prepare their mean and moody looks for their January release  Spirit mechs are the order of the day for the Gad Guard crew

ADV aren't stopping there.  Last year a number of new acquisitions were announced, and ADV have already confirmed January releases for GetBackers (a series about two people who use their strange special powers to recover lost or stolen items) and Gad Guard (a series about a magical stone that turns into a mech when possessed by someone with strong spiritual energy), as well as the continuation of such popular titles as Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Slayers and Rune Soldier.  However, February is the one many are waiting for as it sees the release of the aforementioned Evangelion Platinum, alongside further volumes of other quality titles like Azumanga Daioh, Last Exile and Kino's Journey, whilst Chrono Crusade follows in March.

Tomo is smug cos she knows there are three more Azumanga Daioh DVDs on their way in 2005 More retro-styled action comes our way in Last Exile ADV continue the Quantum Leap inspired insanity of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

Other new titles confirmed for next year include the insane Excel Saga spin off Puni Puni Poemy, the action packed Mezzo, the ultra-violent New Fist of the North Star, feature length mech drama RahXephon The Movie and the supernatural battling pop idols of Aquarian Age.  However, we also wouldn't be surprised to see the likes of Full Metal Panic! spinoff Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu! and split personality actioner D N Angel in 2005, and a number of other titles - such as cyberspace actioner Bastof Syndrome, classic mech series Aura Battler Dunbine and the light hearted Soul Taker spinoff Nurse Witch Kogumi - are also possibilities.

Our Opinion

With MVM breathing down their necks ADV Films look to cement their position as the UK's biggest anime distributor with a deluge of new titles.  Unlike many of their competitors ADV's title list for 2005 consists entirely of anime released in the last couple of years in Japan, in fact some titles are still being released in the US!!  ADV's strategy is very forward thinking and it further reduces the gap between the UK and US, which is no bad thing, and it will be interesting to see what titles they have in store for the latter half of the year.  They are taking some risks though - people may not have heard of many of their upcoming releases and as well as licensing the 49 episode long Get Backers they have also licensed some potentially controversial titles in the shape of New Fist of the North Star and Elfen Lied.  However, we think that these are both good signs that ADV Films and the UK market has grown enough to support long series and are big enough to not be defined by controversy.  Consumers here will only benefit from this in the future.

New Titles Confirmed For Release in 2005
(Dates in brackets indicate release of 1st volume)

Aquarian Age (TBC)
Two wannabe pop stars are plagued by mysterious visions just as their career is taking off, which draw them into an ancient supernatural power struggle.

Chrono Crusade (21st March)
Action packed tale of a demon hunting nun who has formed an unlikely partnership with a powerful demon to help her search for her missing brother.

Gad Guard (17th January)
A young inhabitant of the deprived Night Town psychically links with a stone known as a Gad, which manifests as a mech that he can use to battle the oppressive Day Town.

GetBackers (17th January)
Two men use the ability to generate electric current, cause hallucinations and superhuman grip strength to recover lost or stolen items.

Mezzo (TBC)
A 13 episode spin off from the controversial Mezzo Forte OVA, Mezzo revolves around the girls (and guy) of the Danger Service Agency, a mercenary team who will take on any task as long as the money's good.

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Platinum Edition (21st February)
Hideaki Anno's seminal take on the apocalypse as it was meant to be seen, with full digital sound and vastly improved visuals.

New Fist of the North Star (TBC)
A new OVA of Kenshiro's blood-spattered journey of retribution through the post-apocalyptic wasteland that was once Earth.

Puni Puni Poemy (TBC)
A pretty pervy mad-as-a-spoon spin off from Excel Saga, revolving around a young wannabe voice actress who becomes a superhero.

RahXephon The Movie (21st February)
A feature length spin off from Studio Bones' epic mech series, which featured alien invasion and mysterious giant robots which are powered by singing.

Other Possibilities
These titles are licensed by ADV Films, but we do not know if they will be released this year.

Aura Battler Dunbine - Classic mech series
Bastof Syndrome - Cyberspace action shenanigans
D N Angel - Split personality romantic actioner
Elfen Lied - Decidedly dark and violent actioner
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu! - Light hearted comedy actioner
Nurse Witch Kogumi - Light hearted 'magical girl' parody
Petit Princess Yucie - Cheerful 'magical girl' fantasy