Anime on the Horizon - Madman's May Releases

I don't know what it is about the month of May that seems so underwhelming. Perhaps it has something to do with its placement. Its certainly not the beginning of the year but doesn't quite make it halfway. Plus, there aren't even any public holidays that spring to mind. It lacks certainty,  even its name makes it sound like a half baked effort; "I may!" Most noticeably, however, is the distinct lack of letters. What self respecting month has only 3 letters to its name? Sure, size isn't everything but I hear that November and December are much more popular with the ladies, April and June.

Luckily for we anime geeks, Madman has a veritable swathe of anime being released to get us through the uncertainty, insecurity and undoubted self loathing that is the month of May. Find out what's on its way in May after the jump!

The latest in the .hack universe will undoubtedly offer even more confusion and high fantasy fun. I have fond memories of many a sleepless night attempting to wrap my head around .hack//SIGN and .hack//ROOTS... I'm still not sure that I get it!

Tobias, Mary, and Sakuya are way into the The World. Together, they form an inseparable group, grinding toward the break of day and running dungeons in search of the artifacts of adventure. But when the trio becomes lost in this virtual labyrinth, a chance encounter with the mysterious entity known only as Hermit will change their lives forever. Welcome back to the world players!

The latest Studio Ghibli film to be available at home. 'Nuff said.

This is a story of a family of little people.

Beneath the floorboards of a sprawling mansion set in a magical, overgrown garden in the suburbs of Tokyo, tiny 14-year-old Arrietty lives with her equally tiny parents. The house is occupied by two old ladies, who are absolutely unaware of the existence of their miniature tenants.

Arrietty and her family live by borrowing. Everything they have, they borrow or make from the things they have borrowed. Essentials like gas, water and food. Tables, chairs, cooking utensils. And treats - a sugar cube here, a scrap of material there. But only a little each time, so the ladies do not notice.

A 12-year-old boy, Sho, moves into the mansion while he waits for urgent medical treatment in the city. Arrietty's parents have always warned her: "Never let humans see you." Once seen, little people always have to move on. But the adventurous Arrietty doesn't listen, and Sho discovers her.

The two begin to confide in each other and, before long, a friendship begins to blossom.

Sadly, I haven't been following the Bleach animated series. I've been following the manga though! It amazes me that these series just keep churning out year after year and still stay fresh (or so I'd assume). Are you watching Bleach? If so, what do you think?

In the wake of their battle with Kumoi's assassins, Ichigo and Rukia follow Rurichiyo to the Soul Society to face the royal Kasumiohji Clan and stop Rurichiyo's sham wedding. They manage to win the new captain of Squad Three, Shusuke Amagai, to their side, but finding Rurichiyo will be no easy task with all Thirteen Court Guard Squads after them!

I haven't heard a great deal about Broken Blade but from what I can see, I hold high hopes. The series is only 6x 50 episodes and the animation has been produced by Production IG. Those thoughts alone should be enough to whet your appetite!

In Cruzon, children are born with the ability to control quartz. This power allows them to levitate simple objects - or control enormous and complex mobile battle suits called Golems. But when an ancient Golem is discovered during the height of a brutal war, a young king and his beautiful queen turn to Rygart Arrow. Though an "un-sorcerer," Rygart can miraculously pilot this ancient and powerful weapon. But in war, school friends can turn into bitter enemies and allies have suspicious motives.

DBZ-Kai is another one of those super long series that I just haven't jump on board with. The problem with some of these series is that if you miss the boat, its just too pricey to catch up. I must say, however, that I am a big DB and DBZ fan and that the footage that I've seen has been very impressive. The touch ups look great.

Get ready to meet the new face of evil! The monster Cell has finally reached his Perfect Form, and he's about to make civilisation his personal stomping ground. Only a herculean effort by Earth's heroes can stop Cell's rampage, but the resistance will surely fall short unless Gohan can finally complete his Super Saiyan transformation! Meanwhile, Goku - desperate to resurrect the life-saving power of the Dragon Balls - scours the galazy in search of the Namekians. Can he find them before it's too late?

Fairy Tail on the other hand is a long series that I AM jumping on board with. This is without a doubt my favourite current shonen manga series. One that is ofter overlooked but certainly worth a strong look!

Forced to face her demons at the Tower of Heaven, Erza is in real danger of becoming a live sacrifice in Jellal's demented plan - which spells disaster for Fairy Tail's strongest team! As the Council prepares to wipe out the island with the Etherion beam, Erza's allies endure a heart-wrenching battle to get her back!

Big surprises await the comrades as they return for Magnolia's annual Harvest Festival. But the celebrations are cut short when Master Makarov's grandson hotwires a contest to determine who's the fiercest wizard in a supercharged scheme to take over the guild!

If you wer unaware of my feelings about Honey and Clover, you can read my review of collection one HERE and my review of collection two HERE. This is an utterly delightful series that should not be missed.

Yuta Takemoto has no idea what's in store for his life when he enrolls at a Tokyo art college, but he finds out right away it'll never be dull! Love triangles form as fast as friendships when both Takemoto and senior classmate Shinobu Morita fall hard for shy artistic prodigy Hagumi Hanamoto. Confused yet? Welcome to the bittersweet world of HONEY & CLOVER...

More Ghibli on Blu Ray. 'Nuff said!

Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. After this chance meeting she is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl's magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with Markl, Howl's apprentice, and a hot-headed fire demon named Calcifer. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our young grey heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world.

A modern classic of the Maid/Harem genre which, for a while there, took anime by storm. Full of laughs and a surprising amount of action, Mahoromatic is a (reasonably) oldie but a goodie.

Troubles you can only dream of... Suguru's horrible cleaning skills have his friends calling his home the "haunted house", and being an orphan, he needs help! Enter Mahoro, a beautiful 19-year old that catches bullets in her fingers, claims to be an android, and who wants to be his maid!

Now, his school friends are suspicious and his well-endowed teacher is going over the edge with jealousy. How will he react when he discovers that Mahoro only has 398 days to live and has chosen him for a reason?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I haven't been following the animated exploits of Naruto and the 9 Tailed Fox either. Ryan, you fail!

Orochimaru's minion Guren will do anything to stop the Leaf ninja from sealing Three Tails, but the Leaf's top shinobi will be tough to beat! While a sealing team tracks the location of the beast and its host, a guard team led by Kakashi and Naruto fends off attacks from Guren. But it's no ordinary battle when Naruto finds himself fighting alongside his enemy in a most unusual location - inside the Three-Tailed Beast!

Contains episodes 101-112.

I must admit, I'm not generally a big fan of the harem genre or fan service for the sake of it, but back in January 2011 I was pleasantly surprised by Sekirei's first season and gave it a rather positive review. This collection includes both the first and second seasons in one Blu Ray pack.

Minato Sahashi is extremely intelligent, yet his inability to cope well under pressure has led to his failing the college entrance exam - twice. As a result, he has been branded a loser. One day he meets a girl named Musubi as she is being chased by two bandits and his life changes forever.

The girl runs but takes him with her and soon finds that Minato, while unknown to him, is an Ashikabi, one of the mysterious set of masters that can become partners with some of the 108 cute girls, buxom women, and bishonen called "Sekirei". Their partnership will allow Minato to realise his true capabilites and his own strength.

I'm collecting all of the Ghibli Blu Ray releases and replacing my original DVD collection so any month that sees a Ghibli film get the Blu Ray treatment is a good one. Considering that this month will see THREE released I guess I'd better retract all of the bad things I said about May!

In the land of Earthsea, crops are failing and livestock dying. Two dragons appear from the storm clouds and devour each other - an omen of impending disaster. The balance of the world is in peril of tearing apart.

In his search for the cause of this encroaching catastrophe, the Archmage Ged, the greatest of wizards, meets Arren, exiled Prince of Enlad, in flight from a nameless Shadow. They journey through ruined landscapes to Hort Town - a city where blank citizens deal only in fake goods, slaves are traded and addicts wander the dangerous streets - and cross paths with Therru, an orphan girl with a fire-scarred face. Ged learns that the wizard Cob, in his search for eternal life, is preparing to open the door between the realms of the living and the dead. An old and defeated adversary, Cob has sworn to take terrible revenge on Ged.

The Illusionist

Ok, so The Illusionist isn't anime persé and it isn't released in May (this week actually) but it is certainly worth commenting on due not only to its pedigree but mostly because it, looks, BEAUTIFUL! From the genius of Sylvain Chomet and the late, great JacquesTati comes a film which is being spruiked on the front page of the official Studio Ghibli website! How can you argue with that?

"Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film, The Illusionist unites the creative team of Sylvain Chomet (director of the Oscar®-nominated Triplets of Belleville) with the late comic genius Jacques Tati, who penned the enchanting script.

In the late 1950s an aging magician travels the globe with his top hat, white rabbit and series of out-dated magic tricks. But as the flashy rock ‘n’ roll age creeps up, the Illusionist is forced to accept increasingly obscure engagements to get by. Traveling to Scotland, he encounters Alice, and although they don’t speak the same language, the two lonely strangers begin to discover the true magic of human connection."


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