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Jetstream: Toonami’s Saving Grace?
Posted 27 February 2008 / By Chris "Soul" Cuthbertson / Opinion

“The Revolution will be televised.”

It’s a phrase that many Toonami fans know quite well. But now we’re looking at a world where Toonami is on the brink of death – struck down to two hours every Saturday night, our favorite action block is a sad, crippled version of its former self. What’s worse is that early sources are saying the show Bakugan will be replacing FUNimation’s dub of One Piece. You even have Naruto in its decapitated state, running filler episodes which are as equally unwatchable as Bakugan. So with our favorite televised action block seemingly at its final breaths, where is there to turn?

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Sound the Alarm: Bakugan Incoming
Posted 27 February 2008 / By Andrew "Sketch" Hingson / Opinion

Y’all don’t come Bak-u-gan, ya hear? Cartoon Network recently premiered the Japanese/Canadian collaboration Bakugan: Battle Brawlers. They premiered an hour’s worth of episodes after the premiere of the latest Pokemon movie. Cartoon Network has also purchased the merchandising rights for the franchise. That is something they have never done with any anime before it, not even Pokemon or Naruto (easily their top anime series at the moment). One could assume they have high expectations for it, but just imagine what a waste of money that will be if the show doesn’t catch on.

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Music Review: Black Hole Megamix
Posted 26 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Review

Just before Deep Space Bass was released in 2001, and for a little while afterwards, there was talk of a whole line of Toonami CDs showcasing the greatest beat tracks used on the block. Dismal sales of DSB dashed those hopes, and it seemed like that was the end of the story. Toonami would continue, sans commercial releases of its music. Consequently, it was all the more surprising when a new album was ‘leaked’ to the Toonami Digital Arsenal in 2003. According to what little information TDA provided with the release, “DJ Clarknova took Toonami’s beats – some old, some new, some never before heard – and threw them into ProTools along with sound bytes from recent Toonami and sAdult Swim shows. Out came an hour-long smorgasbord of Toonami goodness. It was called the Toonami Black Hole Megamix. It was supposed to be the second Toonami CD. Things happened, and the CD never saw the light of day.”

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The Top 5 Shows Toonami Failed
Posted 17 February 2008 / By Andrew "Sketch" Hingson / Opinion

Before the fanboys start harking about KenshinMegasIGPX and Fantastic Four, I’m going to say I give them honorable mentions but, truthfully, Toonami gave them a fair shot and they just didn’t click. This is a list of shows which had a moment of promise before Toonami (or more so Cartoon Network itself) gave up on them. It is pretty sad that their own series (IGPX) had to leave the block, but to their credit the show still aired at a semi-watch able time.

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Eye of the Toonami: Classic Sean Akins Interview
Posted 14 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Interview

Originally published in ‘Wizard Anime Invasion’ #1, Winter 2002. By Robert Bricken.

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Gundam 00: Gundam Wing 2.0?
Posted 13 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Opinion

In cased you’ve missed the news, there’s a new Gundam show airing in Japan – Gundam 00. The series is set in yet another alternate universe (Anno Domini), and is currently nineteen episodes into its first season. A second season is already slated for this October, and so far its been met rather favorably overseas. That said, coming off of the disastrously annoying Gundam Seed I was highly skeptical of newer series in the Gundam universe. I was one of the (few) people who found Seed’s endless teenage angst to be infuriating. In addition, Kira was a main character that I simply couldn’t admire or even sympathize with, and I found the story mechanics to be extremely slow and repetitive. That’s just me, but hey. My article.

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Wulin Warriors: A Toonami Travesty
Posted 10 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Opinion

Pili – it’s a Taiwanese television phenomenon that’s been around since the mid-80s, and it uses a combination of wire-manipulated puppets and special effects instead of traditional animation techniques. But make no mistake, Pili is not your grandma’s Punch ‘n Judy slapstick show; it’s a wire-fu epic about Chinese warriors of myth and legend dispensing punishment on the baddies. By all accounts it has a well-written storyline with deep characterizations, but at the same time it’s not something you’d expect to see on Cartoon Network. Yet Pili made it to American shores and stuck around for two brief episodes, in a blink-and-whoops-you’ve-missed-it stint on Toonami. What? Puppets on Toonami? Our Toonami? I swear it’s true.

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Music Review: The Inevitable Course of Events
Posted 7 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Review

Last time we did a review of Joe Boyd Vigil’s Deeper Space, a sort of catch-up article in preparation for his newest album,The Inevitable Course of Events. (Well, ‘newest’ is relative – it came out on December 19th of last year.) This CD is avaliable as a digital download from iTunes and Amazon MP3. You can stream a few select tracks at Last.FM as well. It’s good to see Mr. Vigil is still alive and well, cranking out the songs. Apparently he’s working on a new album as well – when I talked to him in January he mentioned that he was mixing some new tracks, so keep your fingers crossed. Some quick specs: the album is pretty budget-priced, going for a mere $8.99, but it’s shorter as well: the 10 tracks only run for a touch over forty minutes. Stylistically it’s a darker version of Deeper Space, with brooding bass lines and more pronounced beats. The electric cascades and ambience synth are still present, but overall the tone is muted and almost depressed at times. Check these mini-reviews below for more details about the individual tracks. These are just my opinions, but hopefully they’ll give you a better feel for the songs before you buy.

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Adult Swim: Traitor To the Revolution?
Posted 6 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Opinion

The big news recently is that Adult Swim has cut its Action Saturday lineup in half, replacing high-octane programming with more of the Williams Street comedy stuff that is increasingly dominating the block. It’s just another sign that the Swim’s anime-fueled action lineup is not doing much for Swim’s ratings, and that in response AS is preparing to sever its ties with anime altogether. This may not happen any time soon, but it’s beginning to look inevitable.

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Music Review: Deeper Space
Posted 4 February 2008 / By Nick Gibson / Review

After releasing Deep Space Bass in 2001, Joe Boyd Vigil practically dropped off the face of the Internet until 2006, when he returned to the waking world with a MySpace pagea website, and a new album in development, Deeper Space. From the title you’d expect it to be a spiritual sequel of sorts to the original Deep Space Bass, but that’s not really the case. Deeper Space is similar, but has a flavor all its own. The album has 14 tracks and runs for just under an hour. Vigil’s trademark beats and use of ethereal, space-like sliders are present, but in general the two have been transposed in relation to Deep Space Bass. The beats fade more to the background as you listen, replaced by the dreamlike foreground synth. One the whole I would say that the album has departed slightly from the hard electronica that characterized teh Toonami era and shifted more to the New Age genre of rhythm-structure meditation. On the other hand there are a few tracks that are highlyreminiscent of Vigil’s earlier work, namely ‘Buka 24 Jam’ and the title ‘Deeper Space’. Here’s a set of mini-reviews for the individual tracks.

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