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And you thought it took forever for Berserk to come out: Mamoru Nagano's long, long, long-serialized Five Star Stories is finally getting back on track as of March 2016. Originally kicked off in April 1986 — that's thirty years ago — it halted production in 2004, resumed again in 2013, stopped again in 2014. English editions do exist, but given that they were brought out here by an outfit that hasn't been heard from much lately (ToysPress?), it's a toss-up as to whether we'll see the rest of it. I am on the fence as to whether it's a rare artifact of the early ages of anime's golden age, or an overrated oddity more notable for the circumstances of its production than its actual content. (The fact I even stated the second scenario might be a tipoff...)

Lucy cast in the Shell: We knew Scarlett Johanssson was the Major in the forthcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, but what about Batou? Well, Batou himself was allegedly based on Steven Seagal, but rest easy that said ponytailed has-been would be stepping into Batou's plus-sized combat boots. Instead, they landed another of Johansson's co-stars from Luc Besson's action acid trip Lucy. No, not oldboy Choi- Min-sik (my god, that would have been demented), but Pilou Asbæk. Who? He who played Lucy's cowboy-hatted boyfriend in the film, albeit briefly. Still not holding my breath for this project in any form; at this point I'll be satisfied if it's merely "meh" and not a total trainwreck.

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Nostalgia ahoy: Old-school fans will be thrilled to see Crunchyroll has added another title to their catalog that's the sine qua non of the early days of anime in the West: Dragon Half. That theme song is forever a riot, and the rest of the show's a hoot too. (It's on DVD as well, thanks to the nostalgia merchants at Discotek.)

A drug on the market, possibly a narcotic: "Tezuka Kickstarters: A Ravenous Blight?" I keep thinking the problem with niche/classic titles like Osamu Tezuka's is that they need a major publisher willing to take the risks of getting them into the widest number of hands to find any kind of traction; Kickstarters barely reach the people that do care, let alone anyone beyond that. Vertical, Inc. took those risks bravely and darn near lost their shirts for it (and I never stop thanking them for doing so); but now Tezuka's estate seems to have moved on to working exclusively with Dark Horse. In any event, the current way DMP is doing Tezuka titles by Kickstarter seems awkward and counterproductive, and that's not a conclusion I've come to with any degree of joy.

About the Author

Serdar Yegulalp (@GanrikiDotOrg) is Editor-in-Chief of He has written about anime professionally as the Anime Guide for, and as a contributor to Advanced Media Network, but has also been exploring the subject on his own since 1998.
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