2005 Anime Preview by Rich (Webmaster)

MVM enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2004 as the shrewd licensing deals and partnerships struck in 2003 really began to pay dividends.  In the space of a few months they leapt from the small company they were in 2003 to the second biggest player in the UK anime market and the first serious rival to ADV Films since the advent of DVD.  Their co-authoring deal with Australian company Madman Entertainment allowed them to put out dual language releases with quality extras, much to the delight of fans, and they also balanced money spinning titles such as Ninja Scroll TV with more unusual ones like Serial Experiments Lain.  However, 2005 seems to promise even better, with a jaw-dropping array of titles announced for the UK...

If Edward Elric challenges you to an arm wrestle, we suggest you decline politely...

Of all of the UK companies MVM's release schedule for the first quarter of 2005 is arguably the most exciting, with a balance of new and classic titles that will have most anime fans drooling.  Topping the bill is one of the big potential crossover titles, Full Metal Alchemist (main pic, above).  Coming our way around Easter, Full Metal Alchemist is not only highly rated but will draw more attention than most series because of the UK release of a spin-off console game created by the company behind the Final Fantasy game series, SquareEnix.

Happiness isn't a warm gun for Vash in Trigun  Must be talking to an angel, or a Haibane...

What has caught the attention of most fans though is the titles MVM have sublicensed from US distributor Geneon.  First up is a brace of back catalogue releases, headed up by the excellent actioner Trigun (one of our Essentials) and the popular sci-fi romance Chobits, but these are followed by some newer titles including game tie-in Gungrave, origami actioner (no, really) Read or Die TV and the superb Haibane Renmei (also one of our Essentials).  Also worth noting is the shock release of the mind bending sci-fi Texhnolyze and creepy actioner Tsukihime Lunar Legend.

Men with mullets battle demons in Yu Yu Hakusho, does it get any better than that?  Chii's a computer you wouldn't mind getting personal with in Chobits  Who said Origami wasn't a martial art?  Certainly not the Paper Sisters in Read or Die TV

Also confirmed for the year is Oh! My Goddess spin off Adventures of Mini-Goddess, sci-fi spin off Blue Gender the Movie, and we are especially looking forward to the reissue of the popular supernatural actioner Yu Yu Hakusho, this time with an art box for the series and a Japanese language track!!  On top of this we have the continuation of the comedy romance Love Hina and the stylish actioner Kiddy Grade, with the Love Hina OVAs hopefully following later in the year.  It is also possible we could also see the likes of romantic comedy Kodocha, further shenanigans from the Tenchi crew in Tenchi GXP and the action comedy of the Ranma 1/2 films as the year progresses.  Phew!!

Our Opinion

Wow.  What can we say?  Not only have MVM announced all of their releases for the first half of the year already - an unprecedented move in the UK DVD market - but all of it is of such high quality we are only just picking our jaws off the floor!  There are two absolutely indispensable classics in there (Trigun and Haibane Renmei); some titles with the potential to be huge (Full Metal Alchemist and Yu Yu Hakusho); some unusual and challenging titles (Texhnolyze and Tsukihime, Lunar Legend) and spin offs from popular titles (Adventures of Mini Goddess and Blue Gender The Movie).  But what stands out overall is that there are no filler titles.  The whole list is pretty much made up of must buy anime, covering genres ranging from romance to action, and with MVM also producing art boxes for the likes of Yu Yu Hakusho they are really pulling out the stops to please fans.  MVM's partnerships with the likes of FUNimation and Geneon are really providing an excellent mix of classic and new anime, and we can't wait to see what they will announce next!!  On the evidence of the first 6 month's releases, 2005 is definitely going to be MVM's year...

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

Adventures of Mini Goddess (7th February)
Goddesses Belldandy, Urd and Skuld get a fun chibi spin off from the classic 'boy meets immortal deity' romantic comedy Oh! My Goddess.

Blue Gender The Movie (6th June)
A terminally ill person is frozen until a cure to his illness can be found, upon reviving he discovers the earth has been overrun by an alien race and joins a resistance movement against the invaders.

Chobits (7th March)
A poor student thinks he's the luckiest man alive when he discovers an abandoned 'PersoCom' - a state of the art human computer - in a dump, but he soon finds he may have more than he bargained for.

Full Metal Alchemist (9th May)
Two brothers are nearly killed when attempting to use forbidden alchemy to resurrect their dead mother, and become registered alchemists in order to recover what they lost in their failed attempt.

Gungrave (4th April)
A murdered man comes back to life in the form of the enigmatic gunman 'Beyond The Grave', and embarks on a violent mission of retribution against the man who betrayed and killed him.

Haibane Renmei (4th April)
A young girl known as Rakka is reborn with wings and a halo in a strange land with no memory of her previous life, and must learn to settle into her new existence and accept the challenges that come with it.

Love Hina Spring Special (9th May)
Perpetual loser Keitaro Urushima is so certain he has failed his exams he runs away to the desert island on an archaeological dig, and it's up to love interest Naru Narusegawa to bring him back to Japan.

Read or Die TV (9th May)
Three sisters with the power to control paper through the power of their mind battle against terrorists as agents of the British Library (now that's what we call a plot!)

Texhnolyze (6th June)
Fighter Ichise disobeys his employers and ends up losing an arm and leg as punishment, however he undergoes the expensive 'Texhnolyze' process giving him bionic limbs with which he can get his revenge.

Trigun (7th February)
Investigators told to track down legendary gunman Vash the Stampede are shocked when they find him to be a geeky guy who advocates love and peace, but there is far more to him than meets the eye...

Tsukihime, Lunar Legend (6th June)
Following severe injury Shiki develops the ability to see the 'breaking point' of objects, allowing him to destroy anything at will but at the cost of losing his memory of events prior to his injury.

Yu Yu Hakusho (7th March)
A teenage yob is given a second chance of life after he dies saving a child from being run over, but the proviso is that he must act as a 'spirit detective' and battle rogue demons for the Lord of the Underworld.

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

Kodomo no Omocha (aka. Kodocha) - Fan favourite romantic drama
Love Hina Again - Romantic comedy continuation
Love Hina Christmas Movie - Festive romantic comedy
Ranma 1/2: Big Trouble in Nekonron China - Film version of the classic comedy actioner.
Ranma 1/2: Nihao My Concubine - 2nd feature length outing for the Ranma 1/2 crew
Tenchi GXP - New take on the long running romantic comedy.