2005 Anime Preview by Rich (Webmaster)

Small UK distributor ILC Prime have released no anime titles since 2003's Darkness Trilogy boxset, so the announcement of several new licences and a new anime label from them came as a bit of a surprise to say the least.  The new label - Animazing - will release hentai (pornographic anime) alongside more standard titles, making ILC Prime the only UK company to embrace this popular but highly controversial genre...

Many anime fans have fond memories of Project A-KO, and it is well overdue a DVD release

ILC Prime may have picked up a fair few older titles for UK release but amongst them are a couple of classics - none more so than the popular Project A-KO.  This parody laden sci-fi actioner heads the bill of non-hentai titles on ILC's new Animazing label, and is likely to have a budget price like most of their releases.

Fun old school anime based on the manga by Masamune Shirow  Fist of the North Star style post-apocolyptic shenanigans abound in MD Geist

Also worth keeping an eye open for is the Dominion Tank Police, the 1980's anime take on Masamune Shirow's classic manga sci-fi of the same name, and two sci-fi films - The Humanoid and MD Geist - will also see releases in 2005.

Sexy robots take centre stage in The Humanoid  Although more cartoony than its predecessor, La Blue Girl Returns will be lucky to escape heavy cuts

The biggest talking point of their schedule however, is no doubt La Blue Girl Returns.  The first UK hentai release since the Darkness Trilogy, La Blue Girl Returns is the sequel to a title famously banned by the BBFC back in the 1990's, and many are interested to see if it will escape the same fate in today's less censorious climate.

Our Opinion

ILC Prime may come under some criticism for a release list that harks back to Manga Entertainment's early days of sex and violence filled sci-fi, but there is obviously a market for it as the strong sales of the Darkness Trilogy hentai boxset attest.  The Animazing brand seems to be picking up older titles, many of which are being overlooked by other companies, but this can be a double edged sword - some titles are ignored by the competition for good reason.  However, ILC's strategy seems to be a good one - sci-fi and porn sell, and with a budget RRP of 12.99 per volume it is likely that they will sell enough to sustain their brand and license more.  Animazing promises to be what Manga Entertainment's much maligned Manga Collection should have been, but it will be important for them to ensure that classic titles are not buried amongst the chaff, and that they license hentai that doesn't focus too heavily on sexual violence.

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

Dominion Tank Police (17th January)
Young policewoman Leona joins the Tank Police and is soon caught up in their ongoing battles against powerful crime syndicates and rogue robots, not to mention the legendary Puma Sisters.

La Blue Girl Returns (TBC)
An extremely controversial title that charts the return of a schoolgirl sex-ninja who protects humanity from marauding demons with her sexually released powers.

MD Geist (TBC)
A genetically engineered soldier returns to a post-apocalyptic Earth after imprisonment and fights against the robot berserkers of the Death Force machine in a bid to save humanity.

Project A-KO (TBC)
Sci-fi shenanigans with the alien trio of A-KO, B-KO and C-KO, who squabble and battle amongst themselves and with anyone else in an insane barrage of parody laden action.

The Humanoid (TBC)
Two pilots enlist the help of a scientist and a beautiful robot woman after crash landing, but it soon becomes clear that they they are stuck in the middle of a plot to take over the world.

Other Possibilities
The following is pure speculation, nothing more.

Ambassador Magma - Sci-Fi actioner