[Personal Shoplifter™] Astro Boy: The Complete Series DVD Collection (Sony Pictures, 2003)

In July of this year, Mill Creek Entertainment re-released the 50-episode Astro Boy animated TV series (2003), amazingly priced at under $10 dollars! And although this blogger is an unabashed fan of the Japanese film and TV import releases of Mill Creek, he has decided against getting this particular Mill Creek release in favor of the now-super-duper-low-priced 2005 edition from Sony Pictures. Back when the Sony release first hit the marketplace, it carried an SRP (suggested retail price) of $39.99. But today, due to the atom smashing price on the Mill Creek set –– oh, and those pricing algorithms that internet vendors love to use –– the price has dropped big time! On Ebay, DVD-Closeouts has the Sony set for $10.75––with free shipping. In aggressive, algorithmic response, the price has dropped on it at Amazon, as of this writing, to $8.05!

Now, the main reason this blogger leans toward the Sony set is 'cuz he's a big, fat geek when it come to original releases. Not in all cases, but in some––like this one. And Mill Creek has been known to load all of the discs in a multi-disc set (4 in this one) on a single spindle inside one DVD keep case to keep costs down. And that's all fine and good when no comparable product exists. But the Sony set has 5 discs (ten episodes per) in separate slim cases with full-color cover inserts, and all housed together in a glossy black slipcase with embossed logo lettering on the face and spine.

With the holiday shopping season just around the corner (this is a great stocking stuffer for youngsters and the young-at-heart, by the way) whether you go with the Sony or the Mill Creek release, you're getting a steal of a deal™. But, for geekish collector with other Sony releases like TekkonkinkreetSteamboy and Cowboy Bepop: The Movie on the anime shelf, the 2005 Astro Boy: The Complete Series has something of an edge. Well, at least while the price is still right.


Betcha' didn't know who voiced Dr. Tenma on the Astro Boy animated TV series...

That's right, you super cool otaku, you––actor Dorian Harewood! You probably also knew that this longtime presence on the American stage and screen has used his velvety voice to breath life into a variety of characters in other animated film and TV productions over the decades. Included amongst this notable list are: Spectacular Spider-Man (2008), The Land Before Time (2007), Static Shock (2000), Godzilla: The Series (1998), Sonic the Hedgehog (1993), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) and many, many more.


[Press-N-Play®] Ice Box Baby – HUTOCCHO MAMA

Judging the CD by its old school influenced cover, the last thing a listener might ever expect to hear mixed into this 10-track album of retro and internationally seasoned pop music from Ice Box Baby (a mid-1990s here-today-and-gone-the-day-after J-Pop group) is a head bobbin' hip-hop track. But the listener's ears are tossed a dizzying curve ball with "Hutoccho Mama," track five on the group's immensely enjoyable 二人の夏曜日(1995). Paying homage to uptempo rap jams like JJ Fad's "Supersonic" and Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It," "Hutoccho Mama" features Ice Box Baby kickin' the back and forth rhyme ballistics over a booming 808 bass line, and doing it like true school queens of rap. Yours truly has absolutely no idea how much play "Hutoccho Mama" got when it was released as a single back in the day, but he hopes that it somehow saw its fair share of pretend 'hootchie mamas' up in the club, moving their lil' rump shakers on the dance floor, and rapping right along with every well placed word.


[Archives] Manga Mania #38, September 1996

Guys love dolled up hunnies with big'uns, right? And maybe even more so when they're fake––Whoa, whoa, wait-a-minute. I'm talkin' about big guns that are fake. What did you think this blameless blogger was taking about? Oh, no, no. For shame!!  Anywhoo, the September '96 issue of the dearly defunct magazine Manga Mania boasted an über cool, cover and an anime-inspired fashion spread inside that featured two sexily dressed hotties...with big'uns.

 The powerful looking peashooters featured in the photo shoot were courtesy of the Weird & Wonderful division of Elstree Film Studios. The clothes and styling of the spread's "video vixens" Ning and Nong was handed by Ad Hoc of London. Suzuki Quattro handled the photography, and the "Japanimation" screenshots inserted into the spread as backdrops were taken from Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and Yoshiaki Kawajiri's Cyber City Oedo 808.

 That sultry expression says it all: size does matter. 


[Personal Shoplifter™] Speaking of Cyber City Oedo 808 (US Manga Corps, 2005)

Just so'z you know, Amazon has the classic 3-episode OVA (original video anime) Cyber City: The Final Collection listed at the low, low price of $4.99––but sometimes even lower! For instance, it was listed at $3.81 when this blogger unhesitatingly snagged a copy of this DVD on Black Friday back in 2012. At that time, he hadn't even heard of Cyber City: Oedo 808. But there wasn't much to lose, getting the title for that price. And the reviews on it were enticing. What's more, the buy seemed like a super safe bet when considering that the folks behind Cyber City were director Yohiaku Kawajiri and Madhouse, the makers of the cult-classic anime Ninja Scroll. If you're also a fan of cyberpunk-themed anime productions of the late '80s and early '90s like Bubblegum Crisis and Ghost in the Shell, then this "exciting and well-crafted" (DestroyAllMonsters) OVA is a highly recommended steal of a deal™.