BEING UPFRONT: A Pictorial Guide to Bodacious Women in Anime--Page 10 (T-Z)

Print/licence statuses at the end of the entries refer to North America (that's where I live, so...).
Just a Line.
(or Bala, if you get the dub) (BWH: 34"/23"/33"--her estimate)
(Source: Anime V insert '96 OVA Gals)
Hibio Hibino (or "Eric," if you get the dub) is a short-fused, blunt and occasionally violent teenaged boy with a chip on his shoulder about life in general and women in particular (especially class president Fujimatsu, or "Lisa" in the dub, who is in the background of this picture). His mother, an archaeologist, encountered a mysterious desert tribe called Tattoon, whose members practice what is called "pattern magic." Nima ("Bala" in dubspeak), the leader of the tribe, was shown a Hibino family photo, and she was so taken with Hibio that she decides to mysteriously appear in front of him, out of thin air, and announce that they are to be married, which doesn't please him. He hopes to get rid of her somehow, but it's hard for him to do that when she bounces out of the front doorway to greet him with open arms. Yeah, this is a magical girlfriend thang with just a bit of extra woman-hatin' (but not abusin') spice; make of it what you will.

Out of print (previously on ADV Films on sub or rancid dub VHS, and then Anime Works, a division of Media Blasters on bilingual DVD with the same rancid dub). The DVD is still easy to find via mail order.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Nima (with Fujimatsu) from Tattoon Master
Just a Line.
; Elizabeth (left to right)
'Maids' from TrigunElizabeth from Trigun
In episodes 5-6 of this TV series, male lead, outlaw, wanted man and dab hand with a gun (and anime's smoothest dweeb since Lupin III) Vash the Stampede has entered the dying Inepril City, where the residents are convinced that the cure for their crumbling power plant is the $$60,000,000,000 reward on his head. However, events occur that make the city's residents go from trying to capture him to loving him, including the brief (two seconds) but obvious affections of the fine upstanding ladies pictured here. However, the high-strung and tenacious Meryl Stryfe, one of two women from the Bernardelli Insurance Society who were sent out to find Vash and prevent any more of the cash-draining property damage that follows him everywhere, stops him from taking them up on their implied offer with a single snarl. Later on, Elizabeth, chief engineer of the Marius Breskin Kantacle Industrial Technical Union work dispatch team, is hired to help restore the plant, and in turn she hires Vash to guard her. Given her obvious charms, he doesn't have to be asked twice, and she leads him on something fierce, including calling him "Pochi" (a common pet dog's name in Japan). For some screenwriters, that would be enough to work with, but, like all the characters in Trigun, Elizabeth has a past that defines what she is now, and learning about it (and all the others') is a large part of this series' appeal.

The TV series (bilingual DVD) and Trigun: Badlands Rumble movie (bilingual DVD, bilingual Blu-Ray), which came out in 2010 (12 years after the series debuted in Japan), are available on
FUNimation Productions, Ltd. (TV series previously on Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.). Note that Geneon's original DVDs switched out the opening sequences which had a little bit of different footage in each one to one standard one, and had problems with rainbowing in the video. Their tin boxes (and later single-volume releases as Trigun Remix) fixed all that. The Funimation set reportedly uses the footage from the first, problematic release, so be careful.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Just a Line.
Valkyrie (BWH: 86/56/83cm); Hydra (BWH: 87/57/83cm) (left to right, and right column);

Valkyrie from UFOUVHydra from UFOUV
We bring you to Hagoromo Town, where a quirky romantic comedy TV series takes place. Kazuto Tokino is a young man who runs the Tokinoyu public bath, which he inherited from his grandfather, with the help of his ultra-practical younger sister, who balances the (precarious) books and occasionally watches the door. He's a kind, hard-working salt-of-the-earth type who loves being able to cater to his wide customer base--as in, including several varieties of aliens--and, of course, us lads get to enjoy the occasional changing-room scene. However, this quaint setting gets thrown into chaos when a UFO crashes into the roof of Tokinoyu, nearly killing Kazuto. However, the pilot, Princess Valkyrie of Valhalla Planet, gives Kazuto half of her soul to keep him alive, and falls in love with him. While she normally is a kind, beautiful and intelligent woman, her timeshared-soul version is a cute and overly playful--all right, kind of bratty eight-year-old, and this is the one that usually keeps close to Kazuto (to some others' suspicion). That is, until trouble happens and she kisses him when their souls resonate, which causes her to transform to her normal, more powerful self--including her quite healthy breasts sproinging out of her chest. Cheesy? You bet--but it makes me smile. She was running away from Valhalla Planet because she was dead set against her father trying to arrange a marriage for her (usually to another planet's royalty), which angers Princess Hydra. She crashes her own UFO into the Shinto shrine of Akina, the priestess and Kazuto's childhood friend who, deep down, wishes she was more than that, and is quite jealous of Valkyrie's relationship with him. Hydra is trying to get Valkyrie to come back to Valhalla so that she won't get stuck with the arranged marriage herself. After she blasts away at her and Kazuto, Akina plants a seal on her head to stop the destruction, which causes her body--but not her mind, which is still salty and sometimes brutally honest--to turn into that of a less-powerful child as well. Of course, when Akina unseals her so that she can fight, she also transforms, and we get another couple of eyefulls in the process. She winds up staying at the temple and occasionally tries to break up Kazuto and Valkyrie's relationship, sometimes with Akina's help.
Kazuto and 'Hime-sama' from UFOUV
Sealed Hydra from UFOUV
Sanada-san (BWH: 89/55/87cm); Raine (left to right)
Sanada-san from UFOUVRaine from UFOUV
Shortly after Hydra arrives on Earth, Sanada-san, the cat-eared Maid Chief of Valhalla Planet, comes looking for Valkyrie. She eventually finds her at Kazuto's bath house, and is smitten by how cute she is as a child. When she sees how much Valkyrie adores Kazuto, she immediately kowtows to him, referring to him as "son-in-law," and moves into a room at Tokinoyu so she can serve them. However, Sanada-san isn't a doormat type; she's actually quite high-strung, which can be cute when she's fawning over the Princess, but dangerous when she reaches for the firepower. This includes a gun that turns girls into cat-eared maids, who not only show loyalty to Sanada-san and Valkyrie, but help staff the bath house for free. Handy, huh? Just when we thought we could get accustomed to this odd arrangement, another one of Valhalla's princesses (there are eight in all--one for each nation in Valhalla--but only these three get significant air time), Raine, shows up. She's a bratty little one who wants big sis to return to Valhalla as well, so she tries to break her and Kazuto up using her skills in disguise; the picture above is from one of those transformations. It works well with clothes and faces, but keeps her body (and the small antenna on her head) the same, which makes for some nice laughs and even a bit of bouncing where you previously didn't expect it. Valkyrie is an odd mix of romantic comedy and SF spiced with fan service and just a touch of taboo (depending on how you feel about an eight-year old glomping onto and kissing a high-school lad)--and I like it.

The whole series was originally released by ADV Films on bilingual DVD. The two TV seasons (and first OVA) are still easy to find in their damnable Thinpak sets which strip off all the on-disc extras. The OVAs which make up the third and fourth series were pulled away from ADV after the muckleism with Sojitz, and are now in print on FUNimation Productions, Ltd. (bilingual DVD)--with nearly all the on-disc extras stripped off. Thank Belldandy I managed to find all of ADV's original single discs. As for that "Ultramaiden" thing, I think it's bloody stupid myself, but someone at ADV told me that the Japanese licensors insisted on that word in the English title as a tribute to Ultraman, and that they would have just called it "Valkyrie", which I can believe; notice how the first two words are in flea-sized font in the logo on their DVD covers?
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Just a Line.
Mikami Inaba/Mimika (in all pictures in the top row!);
Miku Mizuki (left in picture); Koshka Nekoi; unnamed beauty contestants (bottom row, left to right)
Mikami Inaba from UdC!!Mimika-chan from UdC!!Mimika in fight mode from UdC!!
Miku and Mimika-chan from UdC!!Koshka from UdC!!Beauty contestants from UdC!!
Mimika the rabbit from Usagi-chanThis is one of the very few titles released by H anime company Pink Pineapple that doesn't have any sex in it, but makes up for it in fan-service-a-go-go. Haru Matogi is a gentle high-school student who happily takes care of the animals the school keeps on the roof, and they love him in return, especially Mimika the rabbit (pictured on the right). Mikami Inaba helps him out with this, or rather, hangs back, smokes a lot of cigarettes and pokes fun at him. She's a real tough cookie (made with a lot of yeast, obviously) with a long history of beating the snot out of people, and thus is always challenged to fight by other toughs. During one of these fights, she punches the thug through the animal cage, and he falls off the roof, taking the rabbit with him. She finds herself possessed to save her and she dives after him and grabs Mimika from him, clutching her closely to protect her. In midair, they fuse together into the bunny girl in the middle, with Mimika's mind taking the reins, and she lands safely and hops away. Shortly afterwards, Haru is quite surprised to find a very affectionate, literally bright-eyed, bushy-tailed busty blonde all over him like scum on politicians, but it only takes one close hug (with appropriate squish) for him to understand what's up, doc. Haru's childhood friend, Miku, is frustrated that Haru only sees her as a friend and that Mikami seems to be getting closer to him (why else would the delinquent want to help him with the animals?), but her jealousy goes down around the transformed Mimika, and she even befriends her; a refreshing change from most other anime like this. Mikami's tough reputation still follows her, though, and when she needs to, Mikami's mind takes over the body and she changes into her old self, only with cute black ears. Hey, all the better to distract her opponent until she gives him a good butt stomping. Behind the scenes, it turns out that this is not an entirely unique phenomenon; near the end of the first OVA, a new cat/girl "fusion" named Koshka (Russian for "cat") has just registered in the school as a student, and is now in Haru's homeroom. That evil glint in her eye is not unfounded--and not just because she's part cat. The second OVA is based around the school beauty contest, which not only allows us to see a bit more of Mimika-chan, Miku and Koshka in their glory, but these two unnamed contestants. All we get is a pan of this still, really, but it still works, doesn't it? This is based on the manga by Takashi Sano, who next gave us Iketeru Futari; I guess that was the next step after the bounces and cut-short school skirts all over this.

Not licensed.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
The Yuka Takeuchi Fan's Usagi-chan de Cue!! gallery
Just a Line.
Jura Basil Elden (BWH: 93/60/91cm); Barnette Orangello (BWH: 87/58/89cm); Buzam A Calessa (BWH: 89/63/90cm) (left to right) (Source:
Official Vandread Website)
Jura from VandreadBarnette from VandreadB.C. from Vandread
During the space colonialization, a ship got lost and its crewmen and women divided, with each sex occupying its own planet and reproducing via genetic engineering. An interstellar war broke out between the two of them, and a crew of pirate women from the Mejale empire attacked the men's empire Tarak during the launch of their new flagship. The hot-headed Hibiki Tokai, sick of his status as a lowly gruntworker, had been planning to steal one of the mechas he had been helping to build. He, Bart Garsus and Duero Mcfile are captured by the pirates and taken aboard their spaceship, the Nirvana. At first, the three of them were terrified, especially given the stories they had been raised on about how women eat men's livers, but all three wind up finding out first-hand that they were wrong, and the women are surprised by them in turn. They wind up being given respectable positions on the ship, and even some positive (and very curious) interest by some of the women--which helps when they all learn that their real enemy is not each other. Three of the Nirvana's crew include Jura Basil Elden, pilot, highly emotional and vain flirt, and owner of the on the ship (Note: Meia Gisborn, the woman in the background, appears to qualify for this page...until you see her wearing anything other than her standard outfit. Cool character, but she's not in). She is closest to fellow pilot Barnette Orangello, and Jura even makes noises about wanting to start a family with her...but she's also curious about what it would be like to reproduce the way men and women used to. Buzam A Calessa (just call her B.C.) is the stoic sub-commander, but she's not afraid to wear an outfit which leaves little doubt about what she's made of. Part comedy, part romance, part space opera, part fish-out-of-water story--okay, part eye candy as well--and all great.

In print on FUNimation Productions, Ltd. (bilingual DVD; previously on Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc.). Note that this collection that FUNi has released contains the Vandread Integral and Vandread Turbulence OVAs (sub only), which Geneon never licensed, while their original collection doesn't. However, both collections lost the on-disc extras the Geneon DVDs had. Lance Heiskell from Funimation told me that they didn't release the OVAs on a separate disc because they didn't think that the stores would carry it. Ain't that some...? Since they put them both on a fifth disc in the package anyway, it wouldn't hurt to make it available via mail order. Well, Funi?
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Just a Line.
Yuka Takeuchi
(BWH: 88/59/88cm); Jun Kubota (85/60/86cm); Eleanor "Eli-lin" Goldsmith (91/57/88cm); (top row, left to right);
Eleanor's employees (middle right); Ayako Yuuki (85/54/88cm); Satomi Yajima (78/51/82cm) (bottom row, left to right)
(Source: The Variable Geo Complete Visual Collection artbook)

Yuka from Variable GeoJun from Variable GeoElena from Variable Geo
In this video-game-turned-OVA series, the faltering family restaurant industry is given a boost by sponsoring fighting tournaments between waitresses. It's not long before Full Contact Waitressing becomes a major success, and female lead Yuka Takeuchi of Hanna Miller's (look familiar?) in Tokyo enters the Variable Geo tournament to test her skills. Her first opponent in the first OVA is the quite vicious Jun Kubota (of the Sky Lark restaurant in Kanagawa), who was qualified to be an Olympic athlete but didn't make it in due to her unsportslike conduct. Later, Yuka encounters American-born Eleanor ("Call me 'Eli-lin'") Goldsmith, who is the manager and star fighter of her own restaurant in Osaka, the Rival (that's a lighter she's holding in her cleavage, by the way; makes for a fiery attack), and who never goes anywhere without her employees/gang disciples, who are pictured on the right cheering on their boss. Ban-ZAI!

Also appearing for a short time in the first episode is Ayaki Yuuko, who works at the restaurant/dance bar SoTO in Kyoto, is never seen with her eyes open and loves to tease and flirt with her opponents as she fights them. Her spins and twirls in her single match in this series are impressive. Her opponent is Satomi Yajima from the Bikkuri Monkey in Tokyo. She has been a long-time friend and former sparring partner of Yuka's. She originally doesn't want to enter the V.G. tournament, but circumstances (and a strange man) point her to go up against V.G.'s finest. While her bustline isn't as impressive as most of the other cast's are, she gives enough obvious turns (including one from a cloth-rending swipe of Ayako's Juliana dancing fan) to place here.

Eleanor's staff from Variable Geo
While a show about women with large breasts fighting it out is inevitably going to be a hotbed for tearing of clothes and other anatomical displays, Variable Geo frequently views the darker side of it. It addresses the question of exploitation of women in media events by displaying it in a manner that can't be explained away as anything else. When we, the audience, see the parallels between 'V.G. tournaments' and our own sporting events, the exploitation which occurs in those real-world events comes to mind. In V.G., it's deliberate, extreme, and occasionally cruel and malicious, but it's also an essential element of the story, and not prurient. I feel it important to add that V.G. is neither misogynistic nor androphobic; one doesn't see the sort of mistreatment that's in Knights of Ramune.
Thanks to Galen Musbach for describing the show better than I ever could in a post on rec.arts.anime.misc, and for his permission to include an edited version at the end of the summary.

Out of print (previously on ADV Films on bilingual DVD). AVOID THE DUB. If you have a copy of the DVD you'd like to sell, please get in touch with me. Note that a series called Variable Geo Neo has been released (by one of those stupid companies that release one ep per full-price disc), but also note that it's a different production company, has different character designs than this, and is an 18+ title which is chock full of rape (the punishment game got ramped up). They could have had me until that very last bit.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
The Yuka Takeuchi Fan's galleries for Yuka Takeuchi (of course) and Elena Goldsmith.
Ayako from Variable GeoSatomi from Variable Geo
Just a Line.
Erika Tinen
As you might have guessed by the design, this TV series is Masami Obari's work. In Neo Hong Kong in 2097, an entity named Incubator has created a virus that can infect both man and machine. A special law enforcement agency named STAND is created to combat the virus and its effects. A young man named Serge attempts to kill Raven, the head of STAND, because of dreams that tell him that this will avenge the death of a friend. Due to several turns of events after he attempts to steal one of their Variable Gear armoured suits, Serge is made aware of his sharp combat talents, and joins STAND (mostly to avoid being jailed). One of the other members is Erika, an energetic and cheerful (among other attributes) woman, who grew up in the same neighbourhood as Serge. She becomes interested in him almost from the beginning, thus adding an extra dimension to the plot. Yes, I said plot. Being a TV series, someone seems to have put some effort into getting a story that could carry 12 eps together (whenther it's any good or not is up to you, though), and while Erika doesn't do the fanboy pogo, the show always finds ways to not let you forget what exactly her appeal is (including a scene in the second episode in which she strips down so her fighting armour can be placed on her body).

In print on Manga Entertainment (bilingual DVD). They were reported to have redone the OP and ED sequences. If this is true, then it'd be a good thing I was leery to begin with. Sorry, but not even the budget collection of this will change my mind when companies screw around like that.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Erika from Virus Buster Serge
Just a Line.
Yukari Ichiyouji
If I read a German web site via Babelfish correctly, Virtually Real was Fuji-TV and Pony Canyon's showcase of CGI "virtual stars" similar to the "virtual idol" Kyoko Date, who debuted in 1996 and dropped off not too long after the initial hype died down. The most prominent "personality" to come out of Fuji-TV's stable has been Yuki Terai, but there is also an anthology video featuring six minor idols. Our star here is Yukari Ichiyouji, whose five minutes of fame is entitled Run & Run, created by a team called Polygons. The "plot" consists of her stretching (and wobbling), posing (and bobbling), running down a seemingly endless indoor zebra crossing (boogada boogada boogada)...all done in the nice skimpy outfit you see here (if you ever see some woman cosplaying like this, please send photos; thank you). That's about it, really. Switch up the speed occasionally, throw in the odd worm's-eye-view angle for a good look at her finely-sculpted hindquarters, have her float or swim through the air for a change now and then, add some CGI special effects, set it to a song that sounds like one of Colourbox's electro-reggae numbers, stir and serve. If nothing else, if you ever get to watch this, you will no longer complain about the lack of plot in some adult anime titles, because they will seem like Evangelion in comparison to this. But if you want to take it on its own terms--one big fattening chunk of CGI candy--it's fun (albeit a bit too much fun at 5:03). Funny thing: BBC Prime did a documentary series on contemporary Japanese life called TV Japan, which included a episode on music, and they brought up virtual idols. Were the Brits regaled by by the glowing examples of Kyoko or Yuki? Nope. Boogada boogada boogada...

Not licensed. The only Western release I know about of this title is from Escapi Corp's Virtually Real label...and this is a Western Europe release, meaning that it's in PAL video standard (North America and Japan is NTSC) and Region 2, so proceed with caution if you're interested and live in North America.
Escapi's page about the DVD. It's not linked from their main page. Makes me wonder about the print status.
(No ANN Encyclopedia entry.)
Yukari Ichiyouji from Virtual Idols
Just a Line.
Karin Son
; Shaia Hishizaki (right picture, left to right);
Kubira; Suzu Asahina (bottom row, left to right)
Like Fatal Fury, Gowcaizer is another Masami Obari speciality. Karin is the perky (and somewhat ditzy) High Priestess of Heaven, male lead Isato's girlfriend, and wearer of a battle outfit that contains but doesn't restrain, allowing for fully independent movement. Shaia is described in the English box blurb as a "hot and sexy super idol" (read: Jiggle-bait) whose fighting garb threatens to spill her out of the sides. Remind you of a certain bouncy ninja? You can guess which one gets the obligatory shower scene. Kubira is a fighter who Isato's friend/comrade Kyosuke Shigura conjures up from another dimension. She originally appears in the form of a big mean-looking dog on fire, and then settles in as a brunette bag of water balloons in a killer go-go outfit. Frightened cats don't jump as high as her first scene in Round 2. Suzu Asahina is the odd one out here. She is very close to her twin brother Ryo (they fight together as one being, amongst other things), and both are aligned with Bad Guy of the Show Ozaki/Master Ohga. Being a more serious/tragic character, she doesn't get the, erm, comic relief the rest do, but she is state-variable. Her own first scene in Round 2 is fully nude and switches her between high school senior and feature-attraction stripper at different viewing angles. Fists and feet obviously aren't the only things that go flying around in Gowcaizer, and members of the Church of the Washboard Abs will probably like this Obari title more than any other. Obari also tries to give the show more plot than the likes of Battle Arena Toshinden, but it's still quite a muddle, and seems secondary to what you actually see. About the only off-putting things about the female characters are the sharply-angled jawlines and the eyes which are almost all pupil, which give their faces an insect-like quality (and has earned the show the nickname "Cowgazer"), but thankfully it's not quite as pronounced in the animation as it is in the still drawings.

Out of print (previously on U.S. Manga Corps on bilingual DVD hacked down from the original OVAs into a "movie").
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Kubira from GowcaizerSuzu from Gowcaizer
Karin and Shaia from Gowcaizer
Just a Line.
Voogie; Rebecca (left to right)
Voogie from Voogie's AngelRebecca from Voogie's Angel
One good(?) Obari show deserves another one. In the fine tradition of many get-the-cuties-to-fight-it-out anime, this is set in a catastrophic future our heroines are fighting to put right. In this case, in the year 202 (new), humans are forced to live in underwater cities because space emigrants, or SE's, have taken over the land. 100 years after the invasion, a battle cyborg team (four fighters, one communicator/co-ordinator/general brain) was formed to fight the SE's. Originally called the Angels, they were renamed Voogie's Angel when inexperienced (she had just woken up from her cyborg operation one week before the start of the series) but enthusiastic new leader Voogie joined. She may not seem upfront based on this pic, but Obari has to let her have a couple of bounces. But of course. Rebecca is the "war otaku" of the group, not to mention the most powerful and most-cyborg-enhanced Angel, so she handles most of the combat (which probably explains the extra padding over her upper ribcage!). Possibly the most notable thing about this OVA series is that very few of the euphemistic things are notable. There are a lot of female characters in this series, but only these two made it onto this page. In fact, most of the fan service in VA is big explosions, and not a little bit of hand to hand combat. Still, if you can find it as cheap as I did ($10 for the DVD when I mail-ordered it), it's not a bad little bit of escapism--even if the ending is kind of anticlimactic.

Out of print (previously on Anime Works, a division of
Media Blasters, on bilingual DVD).
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Hitoshi Doi's Voogie's Angel Page
Just a Line.
Pheremone Lip
One of the funniest shows in the whole guide, thanks to the twisted pen of Satoru Akahori. The warrior villains to Ramuness III's heroes in this show are a pair of people whose archetypes are so exaggerated that you just can't help but laugh at whenever you see them. The male half of this duo is a self-absorbed body-sculpting idiot named Narcissus Dandy. The star of this paragraph is Pheremone Lip, a woman with enormous blonde hair, an equally enormous bust and...not much else, really. For the first few eps, during times of crisis (i.e. fighting with our heroes) you will see her handling the situation by gratuitously fondling her own weapons, with more than a few well-placed utterances of "Ooh!" for good measure. So out there that you don't know whether to bust a gut or your eyeballs. I nominate Lip for the title of Queen of Fan Service, not necessarily because she does it better than anyone else, but because that's her single unabashed purpose in the show, covered with just the thinnest veneer of evil. In fact, they had to crank up the evil quotient when they cut down the fondling, and she ends up handling a whip instead. You might be attracted to the show by her, but it's everything else in it that'll make you stay with it. I might add that it's later in this series that you also get an idea of how Lamuness' teammate Cacao is really built.

Note: You may be more used to the spelling "Lamune," due to the fansubs, but I've had the soft drink that it's named after--in Japan--and it was spelled "ramune" in Romaji on the can, so that's how I'm spelling it here. If you were wondering, it's great stuff. Kind of like Sprite with extra citrus kick and just a little less sugar.

Not licensed.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Pheremone Lip from 40 Fire
Just a Line.
Keiko Nakadai
When Michiko Kawai, the evening weather girl at ATV, needs to take a night off so she can attend a friend's wedding, she searches the station for someone unspectacular to take over for the day's slot, and finds Keiko Nakadai. That should be that, right? Well, as it turns out, Keiko is actually quite stunning (not to mention cunning), and causes a huge stir (and an increase in the station's ratings) when she lifts her skirt and shows her panties during the broadcast. As a result, she is given the slot permenantly, Michiko is shuttled to the 6 AM slot, and the fur starts flying. Not only is Keiko pure, unvarnished evil, but her devil-may-care attitude means that she frequently opens her blouse or otherwise exposes herself at the least provocation, almost always accompanied by a jiggle and the embarrassment of all those around her. A very comical commentary on how cutthroat the broadcasting industry can be.

Out of print. This was previously released by The Right Stuf International (bilingual DVD). Be careful which version of the DVD you buy; the original release was on Critical Mass Video (18 and over only, please), and was a bit naughtier. When Right Stuf "remastered" and re-released it in 2007, they used a new Japanese master that trimmed those naughty scenes so it could be rated 17+ and sell in friggin' Best Buy. If you hate censorship like I do, don't buy that version, no matter how cheap it is, and let Right Stuf know why ( If anyone has a Critical Mass DVD of this they'd like to sell, please get in touch. The two live-action movies starring Kei Mizutani as Keiko were released on Central Park Media's Asia Pulp Cinema under the banner Weather Woman (sub-only DVD), and are now out of print.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Keiko from Weather Report Girl
Just a Line.
Masane Amaha/Witchblade
Now here's something different--an anime based on a long-running American independent comic, published by Top Cow. Mind you, the producers took the basic premise and plugged all-new characters into it; I'm not complaining. Six years earlier, Masane Amaha was in an an event now referred to as "the Great Quake," which devastated most of Tokyo 6. She was found at ground zero seemingly totally unscathed, holding a baby in her arms. While she has no memory of her life prior to that event, she decided to raise the baby as her own daughter, and named her Rihoko (nicknamed Riko). While Masane is basically a good-hearted (two of them, from the looks of it) woman, she's so ditzy that the extremely bright six-year-old Riko is more like the mother to her, including doing the cooking and cleaning, but make no mistake--they love each other. I might add that Masane doesn't have a job and is constantly on the lam from the NSWF (National Scientific Welfare Foundation) Child Welfare Division as a result. When they wind up separated by one of their agents, a mysterious jewel implanted in Masane's wrist changes her quite radically, and she tears up the things standing between her and Riko. She soon finds out that the jewel is a sentient weapon called the Witchblade artifact, which causes her to transform into a powerful, dangerous and scantily-clad heroine whose large chest is made even more prominent by the process, and also makes her feel about a good fight the same way the rest of us feel about a good shag. After settling into lodgings above an izekaya bar, Masane is taken to Reiji Takayama, the Bureau Chief of Douji Group Industries. Douji has done research on the Witchblade in the past, and the research resulted in the manufacture of human-looking technological weapons called "Ex-cons," which were accidentally released en masse during the aforementioned Great Quake and are occasionally prone to malfunctions. Reiji gives Masane the high-paying job of fighting and defeating these things in Witchblade mode, natch. She's happy to be able to support Riko and herself, but, as you might guess, this is a job that she does her best to hide from her daughter.
Masane Amaha and Witchblade from Witchblade
Reina Soho; Lady; Shiori Tsuzuki; Diva (top row, left to right
Nora; Spider (two pictures) (bottom row, left to right
Reina from WitchbladeLady from WitchbladeShiori from WitchbladeDiva from Witchblade
Nora from WitchbladeSpider from WitchbladeSpider (closeup) from Witchblade
At this point, the story becomes much more than just glue for scenes of big boobs and fighting. In fact, things get warped pretty quickly. The NSFW has also been doing research on the Witchblade since before the Great Quake, and have even created their own version of it, called the Cloneblade. Impressive, but it's definitely no more than a cheap imitation. These are given to young women called "Neogenes," who are created using genetics (which adds more warpage to the story) and extensively physically trained specifically for this purpose. The first two Neogenes that Masane encounters are Lady and Diva, who, upon discovering that Masane is the current wielder of the Witchblade, are after her. Not in the good sense. Lady is the Cloneblade version of Reina Soho, a Forensics Medicine Specialist at the NSFW and first-generation Neogene whose ties to Masane and Riko are closer than we all think at first. Diva is the first one to actually fight against Masane; when not interestingly mutated, She is Shiori Tsuzuki, Reina's assistant and secretary, who likes her boss. A whole lot. Nothing at all against this sort of thing, but, since Reina doesn't reciprocate, it makes things complicated, to say the least. Nora is the personal assistant to NSFW head Tatsuoki Furumizu (go ahead, guess his involvement with the Cloneblade program). She appears to be a cool customer, albeit one who has it and flaunts it, but she's a very competitive and jealous Neogene known as "Spider" in Cloneblade mode. Quite notable is that fact that Spider is one of the few 'blade wielders who can keep her carnal side under control, unlike Witchblade and Diva. She's a vivid example of the drama surrounding the Neogenes, but even then, she has nothing on Maria, a current-generation Neogene (doesn't qualify for this page) who is shown to have more issues than Reader's Digest, including a bone-deep violent streak. Face it--soap-opera writers would kill to come up with the myriad of bizarre and complicated relationships between all the protagonists and antagonists in Witchblade. Portraying violence as provoking sexual feelings is also a neat twist after so many anime titles showing just plain sexual violence like rape (pause, roll eyes, resume typing). Whether you like that sort of thing or not, at least this anime has much more meat on its bones than stuff a late friend classified as "goblin anime," like Ninja Scoll, but it still goes well with a big bowl of popcorn. Character designs are by Makoto Uno, who obviously picked up quite a lot working with Masami Obari at Studio G1-Neo, but also doesn't feel the need to make all his female characters upfront. No, I don't mind that; it keeps things dynamic, like most of the music I love.

In print on
FUNimation Productions, Ltd. (bilingual DVD; bilingual upscaled Blu-Ray). Originally on six DVD volumes, note that it has been re-released as one of their collections, with the show on four DVDs and what looks like all the extras on a fifth (none of them appear to be missing, but I bought the original singles anyway, including Vol. 1 with artbox and soundtrack CD). If you like this series but say that the digisubs will do for you, (A) shame on you, and (B) the discs show more of Witchblade's skin (not to mention more of Shiori's feelings). Wait for a sale if need be, but buy it. If you don't like the series, well, fair enough; nothing's for everybody.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
Just a Line.
Big Boin (AKA Lady Susan)
Big Boin from Konjiki no Gash Bell!!Big Boin Chop demonstration from Konjiki no Gash Bell!!
Some titles will have to wait for future updates, but this one most definitely won't. Every one thousand years, one hundred mamodo (plus more added on the insistence of production company Toei) descend to Earth to battle each other for the right to become king of the mamodo world. There's only one problem--the mamodo need human partners in order to use their powerful spell books. If a mamodo's spell book is destroyed, he or she loses the battle and returns to the mamodo world. Kiyomaro Takamine (just Kiyo in the domestic version) was an intelligent but snobbish young man who had few to no friends because of his attitude problem. Things change when his father sends over Gash Bell (Zatch in the domestic; yeesh, why didn't they just change it to Gashu?), a mamodo who looks and acts like a little boy (if little boys could eat tuna fish whole) and uses electric-based spells in combat. Kiyomaro gets pulled out of his shell by Gash and the people/mamodo they encounter, which include a motley assortment of American superheroes called the Majestic Twelve. Apart from 11 men with impressive-looking (if useless) abilities, we have Big Boin, whose talents are the two obvious ones, plus...she smells good, kind of like lavender. Since the companies who brought this over didn't want to incur the wrath of our over-sensitive/over-litigous/under-thinking society with a character named "Big Knockers," her name was changed to Lady Susan. One of her few skills in combat is the Big Boin Chop, which is demonstrated in the right picture above (as part of the original OP sequence), which distracts enemies (and attracts fan service hounds like me). However, if you want to find out what she's really capable of doing, get your hands on episode 111 by any means possible. I laughed; you probably will, too.

Out of print (previously on Viz Media LLC), and thank Urd, because it was on CENSORED AND ENGLISH-DUB-ONLY DVD. I usually find it a bit of a drag when an anime goes out of print, but I'm willing to make an exception in this case. On one hand, it's somewhat understandable (not as much mass appeal as Naruto), but on the other, it's still censorship (despite Viz insisting on calling it "editing"; if they like spin that much, I've got something they can spin on), it's still wrong and it remains one of the big reasons why they remain at the top of my short but intense boycott list. Normally, I try not to promote fansubs over legitimate releases--I do want anime's creators and producers to profit from their work--but, thankfully, the digisubbers haven't given up on this, which gives hardcore anime fans what Viz Media, LLC--We Set Anime Back 25 Years won't.
ANN Encyclopedia Entry
The Yuka Takeuchi Fan's Big Boing (sic) Gallery

Compiled by Dave Watson (remove spamtrap word before sending). Don't hold it against him.

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