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"Porco Rosso"

English-language rights have been acquired by Disney Studios.

94 min. movie, Miyazaki's classic about an aviator in Pre-WW2 Italy who bears a strange curse, and who with the aid of a young woman aircraft designer wages war on the air pirates. Stunning animation, engaging character design, and lyrical story. Not to be missed. (more info)

"Kiki's Delivery Service"

English-language rights have been acquired by Disney Studios.

Movie, one tape, 104 min, subt. aka "A Witch's Delivery Service." (Majo no Takkyuubin) A 13-year old witch tries her skills in a distant city, and finds that doing deliveries-by-broom is the only work she can get. A classic Miyazaki film, with meticulous Disney-style fluid animation and beguiling characterization, and absolutely essential for any anime enthusiast. Suitable for children, but loved by all. (pictures and info)

"Tobira O Akete"

Movie, 82 min. subt. by Tomodachi Anime, ("Open the Door" or "The Opening of the Door") Neko and her two friends, all college students with psychic powers, are pulled into another world by a mysterious religious leader. Neko finds herself hailed as a legendary goddess and allied to a fiery demon-princess in a quest to defeat the despot who rules the country. Very enjoyable story, with some real surprises. I liked the character design but thought the music was rather weak. Shoujo adventure. Incidental nudity.

"Fairy Princess Reine"

OAV #1, 30 min. subt. (This translator spelled "Reine" as "Ren" in the fansub) Imagine the UCLA anime club doing a class project with characters from everyone's favorite anime. Thats about what you can expect from this hysterical OAV, with references to many "genres" of anime built-in, intended for anime fans. The plot loosely concerns a fairy who appears, and a young man who can't understand her language (which just happens to consist of normal words with completely different meanings!) and his using her to seek treasure -- but this film is not really burdened with a plot, because you see everything from magical tranforming girls, battlesuited fighters, mecha, incomprehensible heroes, enigmatic martial-arts gurus, and much more... purely for the purpose of wild comedy and satire. Incidental nudity.

"Fam & Iri, Ruin Explorers"

English-language rights have been acquired by AD-Vision.

OAV's 1-3, 91 min. total. This lighthearted sword-and-sorcery romp with the two adventurers Fam (sweet, furry-tailed elf) and Iri (fiery-tempered sorcerer's apprentice) is a search for 3 artifacts which can grant them the Ultimate Power. This is from RPG magazine, and seems a lot like a quest game. Adventure, comedy.

"Mimi O Sumaseba"

English-language rights have been acquired by Disney Studios.
   Movie, 113 minutes, "If you Listen Closely" retitled as "Whisper of the Heart" in English. Book-loving high school student Shizuku begins noticing an increasing string of strange coincidences involving her, an antique shop, a name, and a cat. The answer to the mystery changes her life forever. An intense introspective drama about that moment in everyone's young life when suddenly we find the future rushing at us at full speed.
   There is not one trace of magic or fantasy in this movie, yet every moment is magical. Most scenes use light in a beautiful or unique way -- shimmering, reflecting, glowing. Good use of music also. Art anime, Directed by Kondo Yoshifumi, produced and with character design by Miyazaki. Drama, romance.

Ribbon Magazine 1995 Fan Special

54 minutes, subtitled by Tomodachi Anime. An anime fan's variety show, featuring characters who first appeared in Ribbon ("Ribon") monthly manga magazine for girls! First, "Kodomo no Omocha" ("Child's Toy") pilot/introductory special -- a young girl, who just happens to be a child actress also, decides to tame the class bully, who turns out to be a more complicated person than she thought. (27 minutes) This will become a new TV series in April 96. Second, several wonderful interviews (subtitled) with effervescent Kouda Mariko, voice actress playing Miki of "Marmalade Boy". Third, three excellent music videos from Marmalade Boy sung by Miss Kouda, including "Story" never featured in the anime. Warning: these contain scenes from episodes 50-75, so if you must keep the outcome of the series a secret from yourself, don't watch these! Karen Duffy put this tape together.

"Bewitching Nozomi"

OAV #1, 55 minutes, subt. Just who is this foreign girl who's moved next door to him? And why does she seem to know so much about him? Now somehow she's manipulated him into signing up for boxing club in school, saying he's a boxing genius, but he's never boxed a day in his life! How is it that she seems to be able to make him do all these things -- is she some sort of witch, as he imagines? Or does she just have a lot of enthusiasm and charisma? Perhaps even she isn't completely sure! Something about this simple story captured our heart. But where is part 2? Sports, romance, comedy.


Released in English subtitles by Software Sculptors. We HIGHLY recommend you buy these tapes from them! The show is wonderful and the tapes are inexpensive and hold 3-4 episodes each!

"The Slayers" You'll enjoy following the exploits of this team of magically-talented adventurers! A big hit in Japan. Everyone's favorite voice actress Megumi Hayashibara does the lead character's voice. Adventure, comedy.

"Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SS"

 "Beautiful Soldier Girl Sailor Moon Super-S" If you don't know who this girl is, what planet are you from? This was only the MOST popular TV show (of all categories) in Japan. Here are eight recent episodes from the "Super-S" season, just ended. It seems that DIC will not be licensing these episodes, so we can list them here. See whats new: new characters, new powers, new developments, same old space-villain types. Sailor Chibi Moon (Little Sailor Moon) is a prominent character in these episodes, and she's adorable. From the pages of Nakayoshi magazine. Comedy, romance, drama.

"Darukuseido Burusu"

English-language version being released by US Manga.  We recommend it.
Movie, in Japanese only, 84 min. "Darkside Blues" Recently released by Toyo, this Neo-Tokyo gothic techno-magic horror film is about a mysterious implacable stranger who aids a young woman in her struggle against the evil menaces which dominate the city. The gothic imagery is quite artistically done, despite the anachronisms in such scenes combining a flying black coach drawn by black flying horses with things like satellite war stations! A few dungeons and eerie houses too. Contains violence, scenes of torture and near nudity. Adventure and horror.

"The Sorcerer Hunters"

Soon to be released in English in North America.

In a future where nearly everyone has some sort of psychic powers, a few are very powerful indeed -- and dangerous. They must be dealt with by the Sorcerer Hunters, a team of anti-psychics with their own powers. Violent action and drama -- with a bit of humor at times, especially peek-a-boo jokes involving the busty women on the team. Incidental nudity.

"Mahoujin GuruGuru"

TV episodes, in Japanese only, with commercials, 30 min. ea. "The GuruGuru Coven" or "Magic Circle GuruGuru" (there is a sort of pun in the title). A young sorceress and two boys battle lots of evil menaces. Rather like Aka Zukin ChaCha, except that this little girl is cuter. As you watch, you notice that there seems to be a game that accompanies the screen action that you can play at the same time -- but its all a joke! The show is both a comedy and a parody of video RPG games. Really cute. If I were choosing a show for "beginning Japanese comprehension" this would be the one.


TV episodes 28 min. each, subtitled by Silverwynd) A high-school student, who is so shy of girls that he gets nauseous when he is close to them, is accidentally turned into a charismatic playboy by Karin, an incompetent time-travel agent from the future. Now Karin can only complete her time-travel mission by making sure the playboy gets married to the right girl. Or maybe even her. Comedy, romance. Incidental near-nudity, mild sexual situations.

"Key, the Metal Idol"

To be released in English by Viz.
  Tokiko, nicknamed "Key" is a robot built by a scientist who wanted a granddaughter. His dying words are that she can become human if she can somehow become loved by 30000 people. So she naively sets out for the Tokyo entertainment scene. Haunting atmosphere and rather surreal at times. (full-size photo)

"Kogane Yuusha Gorudoran"

  TV episodes, in Japanese only with original commercials, showing beginning on 4-1-95. "Gorudoran, the Golden Hero" A garden variety shounen mecha series, with several twists. The boys have a flying freight train which can travel through space and time, and a golden sports car which transforms into the samurai-mecha warrior Gorudoran. The fight scenes are rather good though.  (full-size photo)

"Omoide Poroporo"

English-language rights have been acquired by Disney Studios.

Movie, 119 minutes subt. . Literally "Memories Overflowing (like Teardrops)" as in "namida boroboro" but given the English title "Only Yesterday." Produced by Miyazaki, directed by Takahata. On a trip to the country, a woman finds herself suddenly haunted by realistic ghosts of her own memories, as the aimlessness of her own life and her self-imposed feelings of alienation come to a breaking point. Meticulous animation, with a pale, near-sepia color scheme, and stunningly detailed hand painted scenery. There is no other animation which can bring you closer to the feel of Japanese country life, or the actual experiences of a fifth grade girl in a Japanese school. Be prepared to shed a tear, perhaps. (files) (Miyazaki/Takahata)

"The Samurai"

Movie, 47 minutes, subt. A high school student who fancies himself a samurai meets his match when two new transfer students, twin girls from a ninja family, decide to continue the feud their family has had against his family -- using Ninja tactics and their sex appeal. Slapstick comedy with a "Ranma" look to it (original manga by Rumiko Takahashi). Incidental nudity.

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