Rescue Me, Rightstuf!

hisui_icon_4040 The phoenix has risen from the ashes that was Bandai Entertainment! When the U.S. release of Turn A Gundam was canceled in January of 2012 it was SO CLOSE to coming out that you could practically reach out a hold the disks in your hands. They even had trailers for the show and I have heard stories that people had gotten review copies. But then Bandai Entertainment closed up shop in the US. It seemed like Turn A Gundam was doomed to be one of the few Gundam series that was not officially released in English. I have to say that was a sad scenario as Turn A is not only my favorite Gundam series but also one of my favorite anime in general.

But that is no longer the case. You can order Turn A Gundam from the RightStuf on DVD. Best of all it is coming out for a reasonable price to boot. (Side Note: If you are complaining that Turn A Gundam is not on Blu-ray and are going to throw a fit on the Internet because of that then you’re not allowed to be part of my law firm.)

But this is not (just) a commercial for the DVD release. This title being pulled from the fire reminded me that there are several other titles I would love to see put back into print. They might have gotten a decent run in English at one point in time but these shows either were never finished or have become rather rare since they were released. These are all titles I would love to see the Right Stuf or a similar anime distributor pick up.

All these titles are series that we enjoy so while there might be one or two series that would do smarter to pick up they are not going to be on this list. This is a list of love and not one of accounting. Also the series had to have some sort of release in the United States. We would all like to officially watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes but it cannot be on this list.

narutaki_icon_4040 I pretty much get excited when ever NIS, Discotek, or Right Stuf have an anime announcement to make. Not everything is to my taste, how could it be, but all these companies still put a smile on my face. Right Stuf is kind of like if Discotek and NIS had a baby. Right Stuf tends to release older or smaller titles but with nice packaging and extras.

With Right Stuf’s team-up with Bandai, it got us thinking of what we’d like to see rescued from the backcatalog elsewhere. There is plenty of nostalgia on this list, but we’ve tried to be fair!

They Were 11

narutaki_icon_4040 Originally released by Central Park Media,They Were 11 is simply a classic sci-fi anime film. It has the stellar combination of mystery and survival thriller while also tackling topics like gender assignment.

I remember renting They Were 11 from Blockbuster and being intrigued by the character designs which weren’t quite what I was used to at the time. Despite the movie coming out in ’86, it retains its 70s-style.

Random things I just learned: the director, Satoshi Dezaki, is the older brother of Osamu Dezaki and he was also the director of Mad Bull 34.

Kodomo no Omocha (Kodocha)

hisui_icon_4040 Kodocha might have been one of the first major signs that the anime bubble was going to pop. Kodomo no Omocha was one of the few titles that people thought was never going to get an official release in a time when everything seemed to be getting a deluxe release. While it had a fairly vocal fan base that saw it fansubbed it was considered too long and too niche to ever be economically viable. Then Funimation licensed the series and everything seemed great. Then the problems started coming. Funimation could not get the rights to the first opening. Then it came out that the series was being released in singles as opposed to big boxsets sort of made buying the whole series rather daunting. On top of that they were dubbing the series to add an additional major cost to a series that was hardly inexpensive. Funimation eventually stopped releasing the series only getting half way through the 102 episode run.

Despite all of that I think there is chance for this series to come back if done correctly. First of all your going to have to give up on a dub. It just adds far too much of a cost for a series like this. Also larger box sets right out of the gate would make the series far more appealing (they eventually released the series in box sets but it seemed they were too little too late.) With a much stronger shojo anime market I think this series might still be a little risky but not completely unviable.

Saint Tail

narutaki_icon_4040 Saint Tail, my favorite magical girl, has really gone under-appreciated here in the U.S. She is a phantom thief magical girl with a detective rival for crying-out-loud, what’s not to love?

This anime was one of the few released by TokyoPop, and it was nearly canceled in the middle because of low sales. They didn’t even dub the later half of the series.

Master Keaton

hisui_icon_4040 Master Keaton is the poster boy for a series that critics loved but nobody bought. You can find reviews of it that praise it to high heaven but those are also probably about half of the people who actually own the series.But it came out in at a time where almost no one knew about Naoki Urasawa. Fast forward to today and Monster, Pluto, and 20th Century Boys have given him a far greater amount of name recognition. He is distinctly a become an author people pay attention to. Monster is in the works to be a HBO TV series directed by Guillermo del Toro. Viz has even started to release the manga of Master Keaton. It seems like if there was ever a time to try Master Keaton again it would be now. Also it was another series released in singles that would have a better chance in this age of box sets especially considering the series is 39 episodes when you include the OVAs. It already has a dub so that is a cost you don’t have to worry about in a license rescue. Like Kodocha it is risky if you just randomly throw it out in the wild but a solid launch capitalizing on Urasawa’s name might pay off. There is also some cross promotional potential with the manga which might help both releases.

Record of Lodoss War

narutaki_icon_4040 This one should be obvious since I only call for this to be relicensed every other month.

Record of Lodoss War is a classic sword and sorcery OVA with beautiful visuals and good music. The TV is also allowed to be included in this rescue but only if that is in addition to, and not instead of, the OVA. I just love that this franchise was kicked-off by actual D&D play sessions.

Interest in the world of Lodoss has remained in Japan. The original OVA recently had a BD release. Manga set in the world was still running up until recently. And an MMORPG is currently in beta.

Gunsmith Cats

hisui_icon_4040 I am a little surprised that Discotek has not done this one yet. It seems like a title that they would aim for. But this seems like a simple pitch for anyone to be honest. It is three episodes, an American setting, and the plot involves girls and guns. It seems like a simple choice all in all. Plus it has a decent amount of nostalgia factor as it was always one of those anime you would see for rent in video stores when those were still a commonplace occurrence before Netflix and Redbox. It is an evergreen title even if it is of the popcorn variety.

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6 thoughts on “Rescue Me, Rightstuf!

  1. Shay Guy says:

    If my interpretation of a recent anonymous ANN column is correct — and I haven’t seen anyone who has a different interpretation — one of these titles was basically screwed over by infighting.

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