The Black Lagoon review is now available in the Anime Reviews section and here.
I always enjoy watching Black Lagoon because it is a very rewarding series. It wasn’t made in a hurry, nor was it made to make quick money from related goods. It was made to be a blast – something accessible that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.
Usually I do a little trivia section here. This time around I decided to do a “mildly related trivia”. That is, a trivia related to Black Lagoon but not entirely what you’d expect to find here. And it goes as follows:
- It’s impossible to find a good looking image of Black Lagoon on the net. They all look terrible or super-plain.
- Roanapur – the fictional city in which most of the show takes place – is depicted in such a believable manner that there are records of people on the net asking where it really is located.
- Someone made a Grand Theft Auto themed Black Lagoon wallpaper!
- Black Lagoon is one of the only series from the 90s era that had an English language advisor. And that language advisor happened to be Dan Kanemitsu (aka Danny Choo).
- A real, functioning replica of Revi’s Sword Cutlass can be bought in the U.S. It is a Black Lagoon themed M9 gun and buying one is the ultimate fan-tribute one can make to Black Lagoon (after buying the actual show of course).
FUNimation Entertainment will be releasing a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of Serial Experiments Lain comes November. These are good news to all the old anime fans out there who have missed the series, and even better news for those who have yet to watch this masterpiece. Although this is yet to be cofirmed if this version of Lain is a budget release of the Japanese Serial Experiments Lain|RESTORE Blu-ray box than it’s only fair to assume that those who already have the (old) DVDs and would be willing to double dip will be able to watch a much higher quality of Lain than they already own. As mentioned in a previous post about the Japanese Blu-ray version (aka Lain|RESTORE) “the production studio took the original 35mm film and telecined it specifically for HD. Yoshitoshi ABe personally recolored part of the scenes and added details to others. The opening and ending themes were resampled.”
Truth be told Serial Experiments Lain was original released on DVD only shortly after the technology had been introduced to the worldwide markets. As a result both the Japanese and U.S. releases looked a little blurry, even on CRT TVs. Of course at the time this still was a great series to own on DVD, as it did look better than the VHS release and had nice things such as the ability to switch between subtitles and dub, skipping chapters, looking at extras and so on.
On the same day of the Serial Experiments combo pack FUNimation will also be releasing a Black Lagoon BD/DVD combo pack that will contain both seasons of this (not so old!) anime classic. While the original Black Lagoon DVDs Looked pretty good the series has since ran out of stock at most retailers and copies of it have been selling for bloated prices on e-commerce websites. This new release will give anime viewers with a tighter budget the opportunity to watch both seasons of the series. You can expect to see reviews of both the Serial Experiments Lain and Black Lagoon Blu-rays here on animereviews.co when the series are released later on in November.
As a side note the prophetic Top 10 Forgotten Anime List continues to correctly guess the future. half of the titles from the list have already been rescued and will be forgotten no more.
Update: Haibane Renmei will also be seeing a rerelease (albeit on DVD only) in September. This means 6 titles from the list have been rescued!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!