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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Gungrave & Hellsing on UMD Impression

I read an interesting article the other day about the PSP. Since it's launch there have been less than 1 game released per week. In a nutshell not a lot to choose from for those early adapters of the PSP (like myself). Enter anime. Yes, I know there are movies to watch in UMD format, but anime is a class all it's own, and Geneon is leading the way here in the US with the first of a slew of UMD's for your PSP.

The first two UMD's are for series that have been out for a while, Hellsing and Gungrave. I have not experienced either of these on DVD, but am kicking myself for waiting so long. Now the UMD format is cheaper (about $15) and you only get 2-3 episodes per disc but I must say it's worth if for a product that does not have a lot to offer right now, and what's better when your on the go than a 15-20 episode of your favorite or new show. I think of these as samples as I will put out $15 for a new anime on UMD rather than $25-30 for the first DVD. If I really like it I can always go back and buy the DVD or future UMD's but I'm not out a full $30 if I don't like it. (Yes I know you can find DVD for less, but let me be for the sake of argument.) The format's cool, makes sense, and I've read some companies are packaging the UMD with the DVD for a little higher price. Now, tell me about these two series.

Hellsing is an organization that employs a vampire, Arucard, to combat the enemies of the night. Get the full description at Geneon's site. Three episodes on the first UMD and I cannot wait for more. This series is great for one reason, Arucard. Watch and find out, I'll have more as I get to watch more.

Gungrave, a video game I passed up on buying twice, still don't know whey I did that. Most anime games are based on an established series. Not so with Gungrave which was a game first then an anime, and having not played the games I must say the anime is sweet. Brandon Heat becomes Beyond the Grave after he is killed. We get a taste of him in present day and the criminal organization, Millennion, he is trying to bring down, then we go back and see him as a 'Young Dog' in his gang days, and learn how he became Beyond the Grave. Now I've only seen the first two episodes, and the art style (same designer as Trigun, name escapes me) is very nice but I can say, I want more. The two games, Gungrave and Gungrave: Overdose are great ways to get into the series and have seen improvement from first to second. I hope to see a third game so I can finally get off my lazy butt and buy it.

What this all boils down to is these first two anime UMD's for the PSP are a great buy, a great way to get into anime, easy on the wallet and look spectacular on your PSP. I highly recommend going out an picking these up, give it a try you may just like it. This content is not for kiddies, there is mature content so parents beware. Having said that why are you still reading? Get up and buy these puppies already.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Scrapped Princess DVD Impression

Current favorite anime right now is hands down 'Gundam SEED', but close on it's tail is a new title I've picked up that I really did not expect much from, 'Scrapped Princess.' I admit I bought volume 1 for the Pacifica statue, but having just finished vol. 2 I must say I'm hooked. Ok, Pacifica is the Scrapped Princess, foretold that on her 16th birthday she would bring Armageddon, the end of the world (hey, that's the short, short version). Well, she was supposed to be killed, scrapped, as a baby, but guess what, she wasn't. Ok, so that explains Scrapped, but what about Princess, well she is one, and her twin brother is the Prince with a mother (Queen) yet to appear in Vol 1 or 2, and a frosty cold father (King) seen in Vol. 2.

Pacifica travel's with her (non-blood) sister, Raquelle, and brother, Shannon. Raquelle is very, very adept at using magic to protect her little sister, while Shannon can match swords with the best of them, and even becomes the master for Zepher (What? Hey, go buy and watch to find out ok). This is the basic backdrop for the story, and we start out with Pacifica, Raquelle and Shannon traveling the country side, avoiding trouble as everyone wants the Scrapped Princess dead. Trust me, the story gets really really good as we don't know who's good, who's evil, if Gods can be trusted. I recommend picking up this DVD and keep an eye out as the manga is being released very soon.