Article Quick Information
|Title:||2004: Year in Review Part 2|
|Category:||End of year review|
|Published:||Fri, 31 Dec 2004|
2004's lowest moments
TV. The most frustrating aspect of 2004 is, by far, the complete lack of decent anime on UK TV. Every time we think we have a shred of hope, it is snatched away from us.
Take for example, just when we were getting used to the Sci-Fi channel moving their anime series (like Evangelion) into their graveyard slot at 5am, news emerged that Toonami UK were planning an 'Adult Swim' block (similar to the section of programming in the US that is currently showing such great anime series as Full Metal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex). Of course, after a few anxious days wait, we heard from Toonami UK that they are indeed planning an Adult Swim block- but, for various pointless reasons, it won't be featuring any anime. Sigh.
- The Daily Mail attacks manga
When The Reading Society announced that they intended to recommend certain manga volumes to UK schools and libraries, The Daily Mail jumped on their ignorant soapbox and launched yet another painful rant about that manga filth. Concerned mothers everywhere took note.
2004's highest moments
The sheer amount of anime DVD releases in 2004 has to be considered the most positive aspect of this year.
Not only did ADV UK continue to churn out an impressive maximum of 7 releases a month, the quality and quantity of MVM's (who forged close ties with Australia’s premier anime publisher Madman) DVDs continued to show a rapid improvement. Who ever thought that the likes of Fruits Basket or Serial Experiments Lain would appear on UK shop shelves?
Numerous other UK publishers and DVD labels have started to pop up and show an interest too. Optimum Asia proved that they weren't just all about releasing Ghibli anime (Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies) by treating us to the gothic horror of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, while Columbia Tri-Star set their sights on popular theatrical anime like (Akira creator) Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories.
ILC Prime recently announced their new anime infested DVD label 'Animazing' to the tune of a 2005 release schedule that includes fan favourites like the original Dominion Tank Police OVAs and Project A-KO.
Lastly, let’s not forget the stirring of the slumbering giants like BEEZ (Bandai Europe) and Manga UK (who have just started recovering from a few years of financial uncertainty by virtue of a company buyout).
BEEZ are beginning to show a real desire to break into the UK market by announcing (and then delaying, naturally) the releases of Cowboy Bebop TV (finally!) and a beautiful looking Escaflowne boxset. 2005 looks even better for BEEZ, with the promised UK arrivals of Witch Hunter Robin and Wolf's Rain giving fans an extra skip in their steps. Manga UK are beginning to show life via their much awaited releases of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Dead Leaves, two anime features that are bound to sell well for them and stick them back amongst the 'big guns' of the UK anime industry- now if only they would attend a few UK anime conventions!
- NEO magazine launches in the UK
An (almost) dedicated UK anime magazine has been a long time coming for most UK anime fans, especially for those of you who remember previous UK attempts like Manga Max. Thankfully, NEO magazine look to be filling this rather large void with their winter-2004 magazine debut and promises of further monthly instalments to come.
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