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[ the editorials ]

Cafe Christmas Trimmings

Here it is, the beginning of November. Stores have already started gearing up towards the Christmas rush, and since so many of the products that anime lovers are from overseas, it's best to start making orders or at least preorders for certain items. Here at the Anime Cafe, there are a number of items which we thought might be worth looking at when buying for the serious otaku. Some picks of what's out include:

2001 Calendars

What Christmas list isn't complete without a calendar of your favourite anime? Places such as CD Japan, AnimeNation and others bring in calendars for people to choose from. And while my personal favourites aren't there, there are some noteworthy titles available including:

  • Aa! Megamisama!
    - With a new movie out Oct 21, this is bound to be popular!

  • Card Captor Sakura
    - It's by CLAMP and the second movie just finished it's theatre run in Japan. (Movie 1 is being re-released late October and Movie 2 is being released January 25).

Desktop Calendars

  • Totoro - this one looks really cute! I've always had a soft spot for Totoro.
There are others available so take a look around at what the various on-line shops are offering!

Video / DVD Suggestions

Card Captor Sakura
CCS is perhaps one of my personal favourite TV series and has a wonderfully gentle story of growing up. While the Nelvana dubbed edit is tolerable, the loss of the underlying story of growing up is a definite shame. The sub version is available so you'll have to know whether the person in mind prefers subs or dubs.

The Dog of Flanders
This beautiful movie is so rarely heard of or mentioned in North America that I thought I'd give it a mention. The only thing is you should be sure to have a box of kleenexes on hand when watching it. Also, the dubbed and DVD versions of the North American release have been cut so for the full feature, the only way to go is with the sub.

Mononoke Hime DVD
The R1 DVD is coming out on Dec 19th with the Japanese track so if you can get a preorder, that would probably be the best bet. It's release is just a bit too late to be comfortable though to be a solid suggestion. There's too great a chance of it not making the deadline and missing the Christmas rush.

Rurouni Kenshin
As the OAVs have been coming out lately, and OAV Disc 2 will come available mid-Nov., this might not be a bad choice for those who are RK fans or for those who like samurai / historical works.

Vision of Escaflowne
While the series has been canned from the Fox Kids line up, the original version is available from Bandai in uncut form. Parents of young kids however might want to be careful which version they choose since the original is much more violent and aimed at a higher age group than the Fox Kids edit. Of course, if you watch the original you'll get the original soundtrack.

Character Goods

This is something which is a little easier and more difficult to suggest. You have a wider variety of things to look at getting with less likelihood of the person having it. Unfortunately, you also need to know the person a little more to be able to decide if they'll like it or not...

In anycase, here are some suggestions:

Plush Ryo-ohki
For kids who have seen Tenchi Muyo this is absolutely adorable. These have been available from Nikaku in the past and is also available from AnimeNation

Phone Straps
For people with cellular phones in a carry case or which have a place to attach things, a phone strap is a very popular thing to attach especially in Japan. Be careful however since some straps are gaudy looking things, while others are really nice. Personally, I also like the flashing Hello Kitty antenna which is available for PHS and keitai's in Japan, but have no idea if they'll flash for North American mobiles. They're frequency dependent though so you need to know a little about the person's mobile.

Plush Totoro or Gigi
For the Miyazaki lovers, there is of course the stuffed Gigi and Totoros and the Cat bus.

Music soundtracks:

Rurouni Kenshin soundtracks make for good background listening and the music during the Shishio Makoto arc is solid.

Vision of Escaflowne is also a nice soundtrack although it can be a bit sleepy from time to time. More for the serious VoE fan.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena also has a good soundtrack which is nice to listen to. For the seriously musically inclined however, the earlier arcs' CDs are better as the vocals are more accurate.

While there are a number of links on the Cafe for on-line shops, a more complete listing can be found on the Anime Turnpike.

ja ne,

Jane Nagatomi, 2000.11.01

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