Lists

Top 10 Forgotten Anime List (part 2)

It’s time for round two of the forgotten anime list. Just though I’d clear something up – this list is all about physical copies, so even if a series is still available on some streaming service somewhere if the physical copy is unavailable it can fit this list. Most anime viewers are not using streaming services. Plus, streaming a series only gives you a temporary “right to watch” that series. At the end of the day, you don’t own anything you stream and physical copies are all about owning that precious little thing. So without further ado, here are three more forgotten titles:

 

Ergo Proxy

Short introduction:
A science fiction suspense anime with a post-apocalyptic gloomy setting, Ergo Proxy was a very intelligent take on the roles religion and technology plays in our lives and our future. Ergo proxy aired in Japan during the second half of 2006 and was quickly licensed by Geneon Entertainment, which managed to release its first volume at the end of the same year. The series was praised for its elaborate plot, futuristic character designs and atmospheric nature.   

Current State:
Geneon still holds the license for the series, but Ergo Proxy has long gone out of print in the U.S., with prices hiking to the hundreds.

Chance of revival:
Good. Ergo Proxy was a sleeper hit and can still hold its ground today. Since Geneon is out of business and thus will not be printing new editions it’s safe to say that the series will stay dormant until Geneon’s license ends. After which an acquisition and revival at the hands of another U.S. distributor is possible. As a side note, although Ergo Proxy is insanely priced in the U.S. right now, Madman Entertainment has released it in Australia and England at a very good price point. Consider getting this version if your DVD can play other regions (remember: buying an anime series from an Australian or European distributor still supports the Japanese artists and the global anime industry as a whole).



Serial Experiments Lain

Short introduction:
A prophetic cyberpunk anime that foresaw the irreplaceable place the internet will play in our lives long before all the modern social networks and MMORPGs existed. Serial Experiments Lain touched more taboos than any other (non-hentai) anime. It portrayed drug use, computer addiction, child abuse and rape. Yet it contains no obscene content. Everything it shows exists to give you food for though. To this day this series is highly regarded as one of the most famous anime masterpieces. Lain aired in Japan in late 1998 and was released in the U.S. by Geneon Entertainment starting 1999.  

Current State:
Geneon has lost the license to Serial Experiments Lain. Although the series is long out of print it can still be found for a reasonable price if bought as singles. This stems from the fact that Lain had received countless rereleases during its life cycle in the U.S. and thus many copies of it still linger on. Lain has been retouched and rereleased in Japan on DVD and Blu-ray during 2010. This retouched version not only contains new material and was redrawn for HD, but was also priced very competitively. If not for the lack of English subtitles and an English dub this could have become a great import item.

Chance of revival:
Very high. In contrast to common believe FUNimation doesn’t own the license to the current iteration of Serial Experiment Lain. FUNimation only has the license for the old-looking VHS quality master Geneon used. FUNimation has no intention of reviving this old version when a better one was so recently released in Japan. In a recent interview for ANN FUNimation Entertainment’s marketing manager Adam Sheehan admitted that the company is very interested in licensing the Blu-ray and has already started working on the paperwork for obtaining it. Serial Experiments Lain was one of the first anime series to be released on DVD, at a time when companies didn’t master DVD authoring yet. It suffered because of it, a fact that FUNimation took note of when deciding not to use the master they probably received from Geneon. When released, the new high-end Blu-ray version is sure to attract old time Lain fans as well as newcomers alike.


 

 

Shakugan no Shana

Short introduction:
An action fantasy series with a Matrix flavor, Shakugan no Shana had an O.K. story that expended exponentially and became very rich as time passed. The series aired in Japan late 2005 and early 2006. It was hastily licensed by Geneon, which managed to release its first volume in late 2006. Shakugan no Shana was very popular in the U.S. and Japan, prompting a second season, an OVA, a movie (which is just a super-condensed version of the first few episodes of the first season) and a third season (which is currently airing in Japan).

Current State:
The first and second seasons of Shakugan no Shana are out of print and out of reach. The prices are laughably high. Similar to Ergo Proxy, you can grab the first season of this series from the Australian based Madman Entertainment for a more reasonable price. Sadly, the second season is gone for good.

Chance of revival:
Good. FUNimation currently holds the license for Shakugan no Shana, and the third season is sure to be a good stimulus for a rerelease of the first two seasons in the U.S. That said, the series’ OVA and the movie, which were released in Japan over two years ago, remain untouched in the U.S. – a bad omen if there ever was one. Moreover, releasing two seasons just to get to the now-hyped third season seems a little bit unreasonable.


Go To Part 3 | Go To Part 1


 

Top 10 Forgotten Anime List (part 1)

Anime series tend to have subjective life spans. That is to say, some series are evergreen hits (aka Dragon Ball Z) while others are quickly forgotten and put to rest. But since demand and supply play an important role in a series’ life span, ill-received series which not many buy can actually stick around longer than those hit series which everyone and their sister bought a copy of. Not only that, the sad truth is some of the best anime series out there are currently out of commission and cannot be bought easily. These shiny gems were once highly praised and sought after. They now lay forgotten, covered in the dust of time, and are not licensed due to varies reasons. Today I’ve decided to share with you my list of top 10 forgotten series which should get a new breath of life and be reachable again. Because the whole list will fill the entire blog space if posted at once I’ve decided to divide it into 3 parts. Moreover, since this is a list of series that I strongly believe should be rereleased, and not a “best of” list, the series in it are not numbered. That said, I did include each and every title because in my humble opinion they are the best forgotten anime series out there. The series’ titles are linked to their respective entries over at anidb.net, so click on them for more information about the series. Let the listing begin!

 

Scrapped Princess

Short introduction:
A beautifully animated series with great plot and many surprises to keep you watching, Scrapped Princess was a very high profile series both in Japan and in the U.S. It aired in Japan during 2003 and was later released in the U.S. in 2005 by Bandai Entertainment. Above all it was a very balanced anime, with a completely believable fantasy world. It even touched on political and religious issues.

Current State:
The series is unlicensed, and a bit forgotten. You can still find copies of the entire series on the net, but the price tags are in the hundreds.

Chance of revival:
Very high. This was a well-received series and it still has potential to sell today. Its license only expired recently so another company might license it soon. Scrapped Princess will probably resurface in a year or two.

 


CardCaptor Sakura

Short introduction:
The most successful and memorable magical girl series to date. Despite being a shoujo series it managed to cross demographics and genders, and was highly popular. The secret to CardCaptor Sakura’s success lay in waving a complex backstory which slowly unfolds and matures as the series progress. CardCaptor Sakura aired between 1998 and 2000 in Japan. It arrived on U.S. shores in 2000 and was released by Nelvana across several years. Two very different series exist: (the original) Cardcaptor Sakura and Cardcaptors. Cardcaptors was a heavily censored and altered version, in which several episodes were omitted, the main character changed and themes recompiled to portray a different story. Cardcaptors was supposed to be the definite CardCaptor Sakura iteration in the U.S. However, due to demand by fans, the original CardCaptor Sakura was also simultaneously released. Eventually CardCaptors bombed, while CardCaptor Sakura became a huge success.

Current State:
The series is unlicensed despite lingering love from the fans.

Chance of revival:
Very high. CardCaptor Sakura was retouched and released on Blu-ray in Japan during 2009. As of now it is bound by an exclusivity contract that forbids its distribution outside of Japan. Nonetheless, U.S. anime distribution companies are probably on their toes and will snatch it up the moment the exclusivity contract expires (which should happen soon).


Ai Yori Aoshi

Short introduction:
A very charming and touching love story. While it seemed like a typical harem series at first it has been recognized for its complexity and lack of offending fan service. Ai Yori Aoshi was praised for its art and interesting characters. The series aired in Japan during 2002 and was released in the U.S. by Geneon Entertainment USA in 2003. A second season titled Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi was also created.

Current State:
The series is licensed by Funimation Entertainment, but no release date is available. The old Geneon DVDs have become very rare and expensive.

Chance of revival:
FUNimation received the licensing rights to Ai Yori Aoshi from Geneon when Geneon went under. However, FUNimation received it as part of a large bulk of series and has yet to announce whether it intends to release it or not. It remains to be seen if FUNimation will rise up to the challenge and bring Ai Yori Aoshi back at an affordable price.


Black Lagoon

Short introduction:
A pumped-up action series about lawless pirates, this series seemed frivolous yet retained a very realistic feel. Black Lagoon is the only anime series in which you can find people cursing each other in Japanese, Spanish, Russian and English!
Black Lagoon also had an unintelligible English opening theme. The main characters of the series managed to be likable despite being dirty scum bags to their cores. Black Lagoon aired in Japan during 2006. It was released as singles by Geneon in the U.S. starting 2007 and later picked up by FUNimation, which released it as a box set. A second series, as well as an OVA were later created.

Current State:
The Geneon singles are now a thing of the past. FUNimation’s box sets have gone out of print, and FUNimation has yet to reissue them. Legal copies can still be found around, but the prices are through the roof.

Chance of revival:
Very high. To commemorate the release of its brand new OVA (Black Lagoon: Roberta`s Blood Trail) both the first and second seasons of Black Lagoon were retouched and released on Blu-ray in Japan between 2009 and 2010. FUNimation will likely be issuing their own Bly-ray version of the series based on those Japanese masters in the near future.

That’s it for today. Look forward to the second part in a few days. Want to offer a different list or guess what I’ll be adding next? Head over to the comments section and write it up!

Go To Part 2  |  Go To Part 3


 

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