Manga Mania #29 (December 1995)

Complete with the tape that held the badge onto the cover.

Ghost In The Shell was about to debut in the cinema, and so it gets the cover this month as part of the hype for that. Also it allows the magazine to indulge itself in all things “cyber” even more than usual. The four pages GITS gets is pretty dense, with the last two pages full of side bars packed with words in teeny tiny fonts.

Regular column Cyberdrome runs down other “cyber” films including The Net, Hackers, Johnny Mnemonic, Strange Days and Virtuosity. Only Hackers and Strange Days get the thumbs up. Similarly, the column Short Cuts covered various “cyber” anime and abused the word cyber something awful. Finally, replacing Dirty Pair, we get an Appleseed side story as the new comic this issue, alongside the continuing Akira and Striker (aka Spriggan).

On a less sci-fi note, there was also a feature on The Cockpit OAV based on Leiji Matsumoto’s Battlefield manga.

There was next to nothing anime related in the news, as the Xmas period was light on releases. Apparently a company called CD Vision had high hopes for VCDs and were going to put out Akira, Ninja Scroll, Appleseed and Streetfighter II. That was about it. Streetfighter II topped the Virgin Megastore anime charts.

The most interesting thing I found flicking through this issue was an advert for a Gerry Anderson’s Space Precinct comic, as I had totally forgotten that Space Precinct had existed, let alone that it had a comic. And a sticker album. And action figures.

 

 

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Manga Mania #28 (November 1995)

(cover art by Wil Overton)

While Babel II is the cover story, and there’s a pretty good article on the OAV series, the big thing here is a Go Nagai interview. Conducted at the San Diego Comic Con, it’s a pretty good potted history of his career straight from the man himself. And of course, it being Manga Mania, somehow manages to get a mention of Buichi Terasawa’s CD-ROM in there.

The third article was on Sol Bianca, which only warranted a single page and kind of had the vibe of “well if you like these other things, you might like this. Maybe.”

The Ghost In Shell movie’s UK screenings were announced. I went to see one of them at the Odeon West End cinema, it was not the greatest cinema experience, as it was not the greatest cinema. Also making the news was Koji Morimoto’s music video for Ken Ishii’s record Extra. Patlabor 2 was coming out on VHS, as was The Cockpit.

RecontamineTed 1995, a convention held at the Birmingham Grand Hotel, was mentioned in the news items. This is likely the first I had heard of it, and it would prove to be my first convention.  Angel Cop 5 was September’s best selling anime tape and there was another reader’s poll. I may have even sent one in, such was my fervour for anime at this point.

In the columns, Cyberdrome was mainly about ChibaMOO, where you could pretend to be a cyberpunk on the internet or something like that. Animatedly Yours covered the changes being made to Dragonball as it hit US TV screens, and Megabyte gave the SNES version of Doom 90%.

Julie Davis’ Manga Files covered Go Nagai & Kenichi Sonoda and Peter J Evans covered Astro Boy in his Screen Gems column.

Pretty good issue, certainly an improvement on a lot of the Manga era ones I’ve discussed so far.

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Manga Mania Mondays Returns

There was a much longer version of this post but my blog ate it. Here’s what was going on in Issue 27 of Manga Mania, cover date October 1995.

This issue contained the most Manga Mania article in the history of Manga Mania, “CONFESSIONS OF A CYBER DUDE“. It was an interview with Tony Takezaki conducted by Tony Luke. There was also a huge news piece on all of Tony Luke’s projects. You’d be well and truly hammered if you were playing the Manga Mania drinking game with this issue, that’s for sure. Tony Luke.

Titles covered in the news included Babel II – The Beginning, Street Fighter II The Animated Movie, Madox-01 and SD Double Feature. Only one of these would turn out to be a massive hit.

As well as the “Cyber Dude”, there were features on Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and other fighting games turned into TV/Film, plus a profile of Ironfist Chin Mi creator Takeshi Maekawa.

Kekko Kamen was number 3 in the Top 20 anime charts, behind Akira and a volume of Angel Cop.

The Megabyte and Cyberdrome columns seem especially out of date with news of the Virtual Boy, the Apple Bandai Pippin, Iomega Zip Drives and Virtual IO I-Glasses.

Trish Ledoux weighed in again on the sub vs dub debate. Thank goodness that never rears its head anymore and there never arose a subset of fanatical dub fans that out-nutter anything sub fans did in the 90s. (Pretty sure I made that joke last time it came up in one of these recaps).

And finally Peter J Evans continued to taunt the readership with shows he’d seen and you hadn’t – this time it was Captain Harlock.

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Manga Mania Mondays – September 1995

NEWS

Upcoming Releases (titles that got a news feature in bold)

Anime Projects – Oh My Goddess 4, Bubblegum Crisis 5 (dub)

East2West – Kekkou Kamen 2

Manga Video – Heroic Legend of Arslan 3, Project A-Ko 3, Angel Cop 5, New Dominion Tank Police 6

Japan News

Captain Tylor OAVs

Virgin Megastores Anime Top 20 

Top three were Space Adventure Cobra, New Dominion 8, Angel Cop 3

Reader Survey Results

It was a different time.

COMICS

Akira – Part 26

Striker – Part 2 (aka Spriggan)

Dirty Pair: Sim Hell – Part 2

FEATURES

Flesh and Blood – Julie Davis on Tokyo – The Last Metropolis and Zeiram.

Fist vs Freeman – Dave Hughes on the live action adaptations of Crying Freeman and Fist of the North Star.

COLUMNS

Cyberdrome – Lots on Doom, less on Descent, Hewlett Packard’s invisible toner and Spider-Man Cartoon Maker CD-ROM.

Animatedly Yours – Sailor Moon and Dragonball on their way to US television.

Get Animated – The final letter from future shading curmudgeon Paul “Otaking” Johnson, only he was using a different nickname in 1995…

MegaByte – Sega Saturn had arrived in the UK, and Playstation was due along shortly. Gundam on the Playstation got 70%.

Short Cuts – A robot size chart. Pretty sure they have done this already.

REVIEWS

One anime review. Arslan got 3 stars. This issue clearly came out during one of periodic stalls the UK anime market suffered.

In conclusion, if it wasn’t for the comics, this issue would have been pretty bad.

 

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Manga Mania Mondays – August 1995

NEWS

Upcoming Releases (titles that got a news feature in bold)

Manga Video – Tokyo – The Last Megalopolis, Macross Plus 3, Angel Cop 4, New Dominion Tank Police 5

Kiseki – Fly Peek – Peek The Baby Whale

East To West – 8 Man After 2

Anime Projects – Oh My Goddess 3, Bubblegum Crisis 4 (dub)

Upcoming Japan Releases

Dirty Pair Flash II

El Hazard

Legend of Christiana

Slayers The Motion Picture

“New Century Evangelion” – a city under threat from the mysterious Apostles organisation is protected by a young girl and her robot! Sometimes these previews of Japanese releases are like a window into an alternate dimension.

Virgin Megastores Anime Top 20 

Top three were the Patlabor movie, New Dominion 7, Angel Cop 2

Other News

Channel Four to air Cyber City Oedo 808, Tokyo Babylon, Devilman and Doomed Megalopolis. I taped every single one off the telly at the time. Anecdotally it seems to have been a key point in growing the UK anime fandom at this point in time.

COMICS

Akira – Part 25

Striker – Part 1 (aka Spriggan)

Dirty Pair: Sim Hell – Part 1

FEATURES

First Love – Cathy Sterling on Love City. Mainly comparing it to Akira, which leads into the next feature…

Deja Views – A one page feature comparing KO Century Beast Warriors to Ladius, then losing it’s theme totally with some Macross vagaries before a flippant Guyver remark.

Short Cuts – A one page “comedy” feature about anime hair cuts from Dave Jerrom. Totally filler in the proud tradition of UK publishing.

Renaissance Man – Julie Davis on Yuji Moriyama, and the Project A-Ko sequels in particular. This probably helped cement Yuji Moriyama in my brain as the earliest Japanese animator I was familar with.

COLUMNS

Get Animated – Letters include complaining about a dearth of robot shows available in the UK, dumb questions and people saying how great the magazine is.

Cyberdrome – A guide to getting on the internet and what to do once you are there.

Mega Byte – Here’s your regulation reference to Buichi Terasawa’s Apple, as Hudson Soft were apparently planning to release Space Adventure Cobra Digital Comic in the UK. Anyone know if that happened? Panzer Dragoon got 89% in the review.

Animatedly Yours – More on versioning manga for the US market.

REVIEWS

Top rated release was Ushio & Tora Comical Deformed Theatre with 4 stars. Of course it was. Starting to see harsher anime reviews now too, with nothing else getting more than 3 stars.

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Manga Mania Mondays – July 1995

Cover this month was by Metin Salih

NEWS

Upcoming Releases (titles that got news feature in bold)

Manga Video – Project A-Ko 2, Patlabor the Movie, Wings of Honneamise (sub version), Space Adventure Cobra, Angel Cop 3, New Dominion Tank Police 4, Orguss 02 2, Legend of the Four Kings 11 & 12

Western Connection – Love City, Ushio & Tora 6

Anime Projects – Oh My Goddess 5, Bubblegum Crisis 5 (dub)

East To West – 8 Man After 3, The Adventures of Kekko Kamen 3

Upcoming Conventions

Anime Expo ’95 – 30 June – 2 July, Los Angeles – Guests announced were Koichi Ohata and Satoshi Urushibara. 

Anime America – 6 -9 July, Anaheim – Guest announced was Megumi Hayashibara.

Robocon 10 – 6 – 8 October, San Jose – Guests included Carl Macek and Arlon Ober.

Minami Anime – 22 July, Portsmouth – One day con at Portsmouth Hilton, two video rooms, a traders hall, a fan artshow room and a video programme that ran 10am to 10pm!

Japan News

Fire Emblem OAV

Shin Megami Tensei OAV

Virgin Megastores Top 20 Anime

Top three were New Dominion 6, Angel Cop 1 and Akira.

COMICS

Akira – Part 24

Silent Mobius – Part 5

Firetripper – Part 3

FEATURES

Speed – Yes that is the title of this Julie Davis piece on 8 Man After. There’s also a side bar on the 1994 live action 8 Man film

How to draw the manga way part 3 – No mention of Buichi Terasawa’s Apple this time! Instead some instruction on cel painting and animation.

Yeah, that was it, six pages of features total. I think they wanted to burn off two of the strips so they could launch two more with the price hike next month.

COLUMNS

MegaByte – Ultra 64 was on it’s way with a promised November launch in Japan and the US, no mention of the Europe release date of course. This was the way of things in 1995. The Story of Thor on the Megadrive got 86%

Cyber Drome – Yes, the fastly dated tech column was back. With a big piece on digital actors, no mention of Avatar yet, I think we have to wait until Cameron is linked with Battle Angel Alita before we start to see Avatar mentioned in the magazine.

Get Animated – Hey it’s the eternal when will we get some Ranma anime released in the UK question. There’s also a weird letter justifying next months price hike announced in this issues editorial. 

Animated Yours – Trish Ledoux talks “versioning” manga.

REVIEWS

Top release was Patlabor the Movie with five stars. Though bear in mind Kekko Kamen got four stars, as did every other anime reviewed release this month.

ADVERTS

In the inside front cover was this beauty of a time capsule of UK anime fandom…

Did anyone actually join this thing? If so, please elaborate in the comments below. I am curious about the Japanese cartoon fueled decadence depicted in the photos in this advert that could attract the presence of grinning, greedy, poisonous, bearded balloonist Branson.

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Manga Mania Mondays – Number 23, June 1995

That’s a Kev Walker (ABC Warriors, Thunderbolts) cover up there.

NEWS

Upcoming Releases (titles that got a news feature in bold)

Western Connection – Ladius, Space Firebird, Ushio & Tora #5, Slow Step #3
Manga Video – Megazone 23 Part III A & B, Space Adventure Cobra, Patlabor, Angel Cop 2, New Dominion Tank Police #2
20/20 Vision & Columbia Tristar – City Hunter (the live action Jackie Chan movie)
East2West – 8 Man After #2, The Adventures of Kekko Kamen #2
Anime Projects – Oh My Goddess #4, Bubblegum Crisis #4 (dub)

Japan News

Street Fighter II – The TV Series
Devil Hunter Yoko II
Miyuki-chan in Wonderland
Gene Diver

COMICS

Akira – Part 23
Silent Mobius – Part 4
Firetripper – Part 2

FEATURES

The Man With The Psychogun – Jim McLennan, Cefn Ridout and Tony Luke on Buichi Terasawa. This is one of the better laid out articles of the issues I’ve looked at so far. Great use of Terasawa spot art.
Heavenly Creatures – Angel Cop gives Peter J Evans an excuse to give Nobuteru Yuki’s career an overview. 
How To Draw The Manga Way #2 – Some actual help in this part, though by the end we are back with Buichi Terasawa and his Apple!

COLUMNS

Animatedly Yours – More voice actor talk with Trish Ledoux (recycling material from Animag and Animerica).
Get Animated – readers warn people about the Akira game on the Amiga.
MegabyteMergers and Monopolies Commision said Nintendo & Sega were guilty of monopoly practices, Street Fighter Zero was going to be coming out as Street FIghter Legends in Europe. And Pocky & Rocky 2 got 86%.

REVIEWS

8 MAN AFTER was the best reviewed title this month with a four star rating. Dancougar is the bottom of the barrel at two stars.
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